On a very foggy and early Sunday October morning, a few hardy ESM runners and supporters headed off west to run/support in the Abingdon marathon, reports Cath Gunnewicht. We arrived with plenty of time to spare and all congregated in the Club house where you could feel the tension rising as people applied Vaseline and other wonder creams.
First ESM runner to cross the finish line was ultra marathon runner Nick, who was running only his third marathon and was smiling on every photo I took of him! That’s probably because he managed to shave 37 mins off his Brighton marathon time from 2012.
Nick reports it was all going wonderfully until 35km at which point he lost about five minutes. He didn’t like how narrow the course was, but much preferred the small event over Brighton. The best bit? The roast beef dinner afterwards.
Malc was second ESM member to reach the finish. Malcolm was flying along and comfortable till 19.5 miles. He was on target for his aimed time of 3:15/3:20. With a bit of help from me throwing bottles at him at agreed spots. Except I missed the first agreed spot and had to chase him on the bike to rectify this!! Unfortunately for Malcolm, his race fell apart at mile 20 as his legs seized up and he had to run/walk for the last 6 miles. His dream of a PB was truly shattered by then. He hung in there though and managed a very respectable one minute over his PB so still a good race for him.
Ian Leslie hasn’t run a marathon for five years, and he was only five minutes slower than he was back then, which is actually rather impressive when you’re in the V60 category!
Aneta, Tiffany and Simon stayed together up to mile 21 and report enjoying the camaraderie of running together. Tiffany felt it would have been a lonely race to run alone. Aneta and Tiffany didn’t like running next to the cars as only a few roads were closed but state they got some nice views and the select few supporters were great, as well as other runners who were chatty and supportive. Aneta had a fantastic race and managed to slice 25 mins off her PB.
Next to cross the finish line was Andy, who despite six pints the night before and six wee stops en route managed to run negative splits, partly thanks to Bruce who was encouraging him along at points for the last 15 miles. He overtook loads of people towards the end and ran quicker than he ever expected to. This was Andy’s third marathon this year and he achieved his best time, despite minimal training compared to Paris early this year. Maybe his sunglasses and cap in the fog helped him move a bit quicker!
Tiffany didn’t love the single file along the pavement a lot of the time but thought the marshals were great and it was well organized. She also liked some of the off road paths and the bit through the village. Best bit for Tiffany was to see her kids’ and husband’s smiling faces at mile 25. Tiffany managed a PB by one minute.
Simon unfortunately took a tumble at about mile 11. He managed to stick with Tiffany and Aneta most of way. He nursed it home in the end to scrape a sub-4 and a PB by a whopping one hour! He said it was a great event and day out.
Bruce and I were grateful to have taken bikes with us (great idea Malcolm!) so it meant we could see the runners a few times at various points and Bruce was able to take some cracking photos as always, including those featured here. Click here for the full album.
ESM results summary:
59 Nick Steel 2:55:32, 344 Malcolm Woolsey 3:26:53, 421 Ian Leslie (M60) 3:37:18, 495 Aneta Neumann (W35) 3:46:54, 525 Andy Leung (M40) 3:49:55, 527 Tiffany Fontenot (W35) 3:50:25, 594 Simon Turrell (M50) 3:59:39
Full results (provisional) here.