I’m so sorry I’ve been so behind with the blog and videos, Uni work is taking over my life right now with a spate of deadlines all within a three week period. I’ve already had an exam, 1 online test and 1 piece of coursework in, and have 3 pieces left to hand in before term finishes on the 13th December. So glad to have a family holiday to Costa Rica planned (there’s 16 of us going!).
However, back to the main event, the Marlow 7 miler race recap! Two weekends ago, we had some friends to stay to enjoy the local fireworks and run the local running club race. None of us had thought to look at the course profile, probably assuming that the route would take us along the River Thames and therefore be pretty flat, like most of the other races I’ve done in this area.
How wrong we were.
Accidentally all in a grey and black uniform.
After easily finding a parking space (that turned out to be a Coach spot and resulted in a post-race parking fine), we collected our bibs, dropped our bags/coats off and headed to the start line. Both the 7 milers and half marathoners started together, making it a bit of a scrum through the park gates but everyone was polite and well behaved as they pushed their way through.
Emily and I had the plan to stick together, whilst the boys dashed off immediately.
My face in the photo below…I look so scared!
The first half mile was through Marlow, and we were feeling good. It was very cold out (2 degrees) so we were wearing plenty of layers, however in the sun it felt nice and warm and I soon regretted my long sleeve thermals!
Things started to get hilly about 3/4 mile in, and from then on the hills felt relentless. Our paces were all over the place, so I covered up my TomTom and decided we shouldn’t care about finishing time and just run on feel.
It’s probably best if you watch the video to see how steep they were and how hard I was breathing… Don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel here if you haven’t already (seeing if I can hit 1000 subs by the Tokyo Marathon in Feb!)
Not only was it super hilly, it was slippery on the downhills so we were a little nervous about falling over. All style went out the window as I ran with my arms out wide to try to balance myself!
The hills were tough but the scenery was gorgeous. The leaves were all a beautiful array of gold, crimson and orange, coupled with the green fields and bright blue sky, it helped take our mind off things. I’d originally thought it was going to be a trail race, but it was actually all on roads. Some weren’t closed however the drivers were very considerate and waited for us to pass.
I think the half marathoners split off from us around the 5 mile mark, and continued through the rolling countryside. I was very glad not to be tackling that half that day, however it would make great hill training for future marathons!
There were two water stations along the 7 miler, with friendly volunteers blasting music from their cars. I cannot say enough how lovely this community based race was – from the free bag drop area and car key drop off, to the marshals along the way and Disco Dave doing the announcements.
With 1.5 miles to go, it was all downhill and we were so glad to be done.
1.00.49 – not bad for a hilly 7 miles.
The boys had finished a little ahead of us, with Phil racing ahead with a 54 min finish, and Tom squeaking in just under an hour.
We loved the medals with the Guy Fawkes theme and the long sleeve technical tops that we were all given. Not bad for the price of £18!! Races outside of London are so much cheaper!
After collecting our belongings, we went and did a quick change in the car before enjoying brunch at The Ivy Garden in Marlow. It was delicious, although they stop serving breakfast at 11am so we had to make our own brunch dishes from their menu. I added poached eggs to their mushroom on toast starter, while Emily had the smoked salmon started with eggs. I think Tom was a little disappointed that they didn’t have a Full English fry up.
Overall, an awesome, great value race with a hugely friendly atmosphere. Just don’t underestimate the hills!