I'd been to Swanley Park a couple of times in the past with Izzy so I realised that it was going to be a relatively flat and quick course. I hadnt quite considered that flat pretty much means boggy as the water has absolutely no where to drain to, especially with around 500 runners cutting through the bog.
After an impeccably observed minutes silence for Rememberance Sunday, the race started just after 11am.
As Jim W had pointed out before the race, it was 3 laps of the Park and there would be a couple of bottlenecks where the race would be reduced to walking pace...and he was proved to be right. On some of the sharp corners, the bog was so bad that a large numbers of the runners were stopping just to prevent them slipping over, whether they were wearing road flats, trails shoes or spikes.
From a personal point of view, the first lap went reasonably well but the gentle incline in the mud starting the 2nd lap saw every bit of strength from my legs drain and I was just hoping I was going to finish by that point. In reality, I'm still a novice runner and I've got a an awful lot to learn.
Excellent support from the sidelines as per usual, with a scatterring of Plums around the course giving some encouragement.
As of 8pm tonight, I've not yet seen the official results. I finished in 398th place but I've estimated my final time as 44:23 based on the point when my pace chart shows my strong sprint finish where I took 4 places in the last 50 yards. Probably my best sprint finish ever. I remember from the old school years we were always told to keep enough back for a sprint finish and I'm chuffed I can still do it. Unfortunately, because I was so f*cked by the time I'd finished the sprint, I'd completely forgot to stop the Garmin, so I'll update the Garmin record with the official time once its published.
|Me blowing out my backside....|
|My trail shoes at the end of the race..beasted just like me!|