The annual away day.
A coach load of sleepy roadrunners piling onto an obscenely early ferry. All blagging the free hot water on the ferry to chomp on their porridge, fuelling up for the day ahead.
A change of venue for this year’s little jaunt. Decided by the runners themselves via a Facebook poll, the New Forest Festival of Running became the chosen destination. With 4 distances on offer, there was instant take up for this day out, with the coach full up, and others travelling independently. 5k, 10k, a half marathon and full were on offer to attempt.
A beautiful sunrise gradually wiped the sleep from the runners eyes during their ferry journey across the water.
A short drive from Lymington into the forest, the runners arrived with an hour to spare for the marathoners to collect their numbers and perform their last minute preparations.
9am and the marathoners were off on their journeys. Our team of 10 set out into the forest, with a fantastic wave off from the rest of the roadrunners. Forest paths, wet under foot stretched out before them, interspersed with country roads and muddy track.
It wasn’t long before the half runners, were doing the same. All 30 of them followed the same course as the marathon for 9 miles before turning back for home,
The 10k went next for the off following a parts of the same routes as the others, all on forest track, as they ran from enclosure to enclosure.
Last but not least Sara Truckel and son Stanley set off on the 5k route, whilst they awaited daddy Steve Rumsey’s return from the marathon.
“It was really muddy the whole way” said Sara “Stanley just ploughed through the puddles”
Despite this they both ran brilliantly, with young Stanley taking after his speedy parents in a fantastic time of 37.24, just pipping his mum on the line!
The 10k finishers were also just starting to come across the line. With Micheal Douglas, fresh from his success in Andover last week coming over the line in a superb 6th place and under 40 minutes. Matt Fletcher was the next Roadrunner home in just over 43 minutes and 24th overall and Ashleigh Douglas finishing next in 23rd Female position.next in were Julia, Julie R and Bridget, followed by Lucy and Tanya. Lucy bagging 5th V60 to boot.
The half marathoners were next to trickle across the line, the weather still holding out for the most part. Pete Wilmott was the first club member home and an amazing 28th overall and 2nd in his age category. Next in was Nick Kenney closely followed by Donnacha Deasy with a tidy PB and both making the top 20 in their age categories. Trish Train was next home in a fantastic 7th Female and 1st v50 follwed by Sharon McNally a few minutes later to take 2nd V50 and 17th Female.
In they came one by one, all having enjoyed the course and it’s beautiful views across the heathland with the wild ponies wandering about. Some ran in pairs for company, others going it alone. PBs were showered around like fairy dust with Steve Webb, James Shoulder, Nick Scott-Denness, Harry Vernon, Margaret Niland-Murphy (also 7th in her age category) Jenny Dewing, Bel Rockall, Alison Butcher and Sue Meredith all running out of their skins and achieving more than they ever had before.
But the best was yet to come….
The marathon was approaching the business end of the race with only the final miles left to negotiate.
“There was 2 of us up front for the entire race” said our little speed king Bill Goozee “I was feeling comfortable the whole way. There way a bit of downhill from about mile 20 onward, so I really opened up and pulled away”
And that is where he stayed, in front, Yes he did it again! He only went and won the damn thing! 2hours and 47 minutes and 44 seconds that’s all it took him! And in a PB too!
Next under the archway came Stanleys dad Steve claiming 18th place overall and 7th in his V40 category. With Andy MacArthur next in a massive 27 minute PB of 3.17.43, not bad considering he didn’t wear his watch! Kieron Snow was next home in under 3.20 (again a pb!) as was Michael Coultrup taking 7 minutes off his and finally gaining himself a good for age qualifying time.
Young Harry Rann came in next. Despite being only his second marathon, he ran a massive PB of 34 minutes. The was first of the girls not too far behind. Sarah Holmes stormed in as the 19th Female overall, 5th V40 and also getting herself a good for age time and a Pb.
“I am speechless”, unusual for her, “I really didn’t think that would happen today. I thought I’d start out at a reasonable pace and wait for the wheels to fall off… they stayed on! Can’t believe it!”
Tim, Paul (Pb for him too!) and Julie followed across the line.
All home. All safe. All happy. Time to celebrate!
Stanley Rumsey – 37.24
Sara Truckel – 37.28
Margaret Niland Murphy-1.50.39