Jon Braund reports.
This was only the second year for the NDVM but it deserves to become a permanent fixture. With just 250 individual runners and 20 relay teams it is relaxed and friendly, especially with a good WAC turnout to chat to before the start. It has good facilities and easy parking – although a couple more loos wouldn’t have gone amiss.
The weather on the day was overcast and damp, so ideal for a long run. On the down side the 8.30 start was a bit of a shock to the system and not something I am ever likely to practice. My only previous marathons had been off-road, in around 3.45 but I hoped to run a steady pace with a goal of around 3.30.
Despite my plans for steady 8-minute miles, the first was around 7.10, clearly suicidal. The next was a bit slower, but not a lot. Andy Porter, who I was running with, suggested that we just do a comfortable speed without bothering too much about the watch. I was enjoying the company so went for that and crossed my fingers. We kept measuring our time against the target and the gap kept getting wider, building up a buffer for when the legs faded.
Around 16 miles, Andy paused for some refreshment (I had been downing gels regularly) and I pushed on with just some German heavy metal (Rammstein) in my head for company. I tried to keep to a similar pace and, as the mile markers kept pinging by, I passed a few other runners. The remaining distance come down to a 10k, then a time trial, and the wheels had still not fallen off although my legs were getting a bit sore. The hills seemed to be at regular intervals in the last few miles but that did keep it more interesting.
I finished in a time that I was really pleased with, and 30 seconds later Andy Porter steamed in trying to out-sprint someone he later realised was doing the relay! Apologies to fellow WACers that I wasn’t there to cheer them into the finish. Once I stopped my legs totally seized up and I felt like I was doing a Douglas Bader impression.
The route goes through lovely countryside and pretty villages and is undulating enough to give variety. The marshals were tremendous, there was a thin scattering of enthusiastic bystanders either living on the route, or there for friends and family, but generous with encouragement for all, and there was super support from the relaying WACers at the changeovers – thanks. Gillingham Trotters can be very proud of what they have created.
Jerry Shield 9th 2:58:49
Jon Braund 33rd 3:21:33
Andy Porter 34th 3:22:05
Andy Horsley 59th 3:36:04
Paul Hougham 76th 3:44:12
Nigel Eldred 105th 4:05:40
Terry Simms 167th 4:26:27
Denise Craddock 186th 4:43:48
WAC were the first team home
In the relay the WAC ladies were 2nd and 3rd ladies teams, and 6th and 7th out of 20 teams overall. Excellent performances.
Wimborne Ladies 2 3:42:29
Wimborne Ladies 1 3:45:15