Puddletown Plod – 12 June 2011
Brackley reports from a very wet race.
certainly was a puddle town as we ran through some quite long and deep
ones en route.
curiosity and having heard it was a lovely scenic route, in a moment of
madness, I decided not to stay in doors all nice and warm but to brave
the elements and head out down the A35. Needless to say at St Mary’s
School all the runners were huddled inside (funny that!) as the rain
lashed down outside. With the start time looming they suddenly headed
off outside at a jog which was very confusing as I thought they had
started the race from the school door! The actual start line was just
around the corner from the school entrance and after a few minutes
getting acclimatised to the torrential rain we were off.
Luckily enough Wendy was there and we teamed up to
run around the single-lapped course together, only a few times parting
company, with me going slower down hill. As you may remember the rain
didn’t let up and after a while it didn’t really make that much
difference because when you are that soaked through (2 layers and a
jacket) you can’t get any wetter. The roads were quiet, with runners
behind shouting warnings if a car was approaching. The marshals did a
marvellous job pointing us in the right direction throughout the course
(and someone had thoughtfully sprayed yellow arrows on the roads as
well, not sure if that’s legal tho!) and they were also very
encouraging, you had to admire their dedication as it must have been
quite grim for them just standing there. They had water tables set up as
well, although they probably didn’t have to use much water for the
The occasional dilemma was whether to try and tiptoe
through the huge puddles (and there was no way round them) or just go
for it which we did and judging by the shrieks behind so did the others.
Although my trainers were completely sodden they soon drained and didn’t
cause any worrying blisters.
The course was undulating in places but not too steep
and entirely on tarmac. We passed a few villages and also a lovely old
house which a runner next to us informed us was a medieval castle. On a
fine day it really would have been a lovely run as the majority of it
was through country lanes. I was pleasantly surprised to see the
kilometre marker indicating that there was only four kilometres to go.
Funnily enough that seemed a really long four kilometres as this last
section of the race was mainly up hill and it was the only part of the
course which actually double-backed on itself. Thankfully the last
hundred yards or so was down hill and then we went into the school gates
to the finish line. There were a few hardy souls present just before the
last corner shouting out words of encouragement as we splashed past.
Apart from the marshals there was no one else around, sensibly they were
inside the school hall warming up with tea and coffee and I do believe
there were cakes as well. There was no goodie bag but we had T-shirts
and chocolates to choose from.
Despite the inclement weather on the day I would
definitely do this race again.
7 – Roy Long – 1:17:15
8 – Richard Swindlehurst – 1:17:20
12 – Jerry Shield – 1:19:18
25 – Andy Olden – 1:27:51
35 – Daryl Davies – 1:28:55
47 – Rich House – 1:30:37
53 – Graham Whiffen – 1:32:18
56 – John Hutchings – 1:33:02
80 – Gerry Hutchings – 1:41:09
87 – Kevin Elliott – 1:42:56
112 – Wendy Kennedy – 1:52:25
113 – Kim Brackley – 1:52:30
There were 148 finishers.