Goodwood motor racing circuit was the venue for my first race in three months. OK, I realise that 26.2 miles of tarmac don’t exactly amount to off road but the location is only 35 minutes away and the track is such an iconic venue.
This initial photo is my favourite from the day. The historic Goodwood start/finish straight, Stig (possibly not the real Stig), Paul from Fareham Crusaders and Gosport road runners Steve, Catherine, Claire, Lisa, Katrina and Hayley.
With numerous other RunThrough uk races scheduled for the day our marathon started at 9am in pleasant conditions. The pre race warm up set the tone for a light hearted day running within a fairly small field, but a very supportive one.
This photo from the warm up shows my friend Hayley adopting the New Zealand hakka, me clinging onto an imaginary bar above my head (for what ever reason) and Paul (the Brad Pitt lookalike) talking on his imaginary phone to his imaginary PR agent 🙂 Yes we were all raring to get started !!
Before the off there was just time for mine and Paul’s trademark photo with the motor racing pits behind us.
The prospect of 11 laps might have put some people off, however, I was keen to use it as a good mental test. I spotted local blogger Anna who eventually placed as first lady in 3.26 and radio/running personality Vassos Alexander who finished in 3.22, the checked flag dropped and we were off.
Each lap of the track was about 2.4 miles and it varied with some gradual inclines and declines as well as the wind direction blowing across, in front and behind you. What I hadn’t considered previously was that there’s an aerodrome in the middle of the track !!
A good thirty or so light aircraft and helicopters were parked up with quite frequent arrivals and departures. I have to say the first time a plane landed above our heads it was quite amusing and quite close !!
With 11 laps there was only the need for one feed station but I was impressed with the number of marshals around the course who offered continued support on every lap. RunThrough had placed speakers to play uplifting music and then totally out of the blue two gentlemen in Mexican attire, complete with guitar and trumpet, added to our entertainment.
With there being a number of races held through the day we were regularly lapped or saw runners coming towards us. This did break up the day and it was great to see Andy Paton from Liss Runners charging along on his 10K.
There were various motivational signs around Goodwood, with one that read “keep to the racing line” which I wasn’t totally sure was for us but again it made you think as we ran the twists and turns of the track.
I chatted with Hayley on my first lap and then later with Claire and Joanne. The support from the grandstand was a real boost but for the remainder of the time it was largely “you and your thoughts”.
One of the joys of running for me is to completely switch off and simply observe what’s around you. The South Downs in the distance, the aircraft and even the wind on your face or the sun on your back. Running is definitely my mindfulness.
Pace wise I stayed around ten minute miles but drifted slightly once past 20 miles. The mile markers were dotted around the track in reverse order which personally I wasn’t sure about but it did motivate me when it said 5,4,3,2,1 miles left !!
Both Paul and Hayley were a lap ahead of me and Anna must have lapped me twice but I only remember seeing her once 🙂 #oldage !!
I have to say I walked a few times on lap eleven due to a lack of training but with the marshals encouragement, the sight of the finish line and the ever supportive Gosport ladies, this was enough to carry me home in 4.42 which ultimately was a fair time for the day.
Yes, I do look quite knackered but I achieved what I came for i.e. to get back on track and Goodwood was certainly a great place to do it.
One thought for the future …. the water came in the form of endless single use plastic bottles. It seemed such a waste with piles of them, some only half empty, scattered around the course. Naturally that also meant they needed picking up as well as going against the single use of plastic that’s becoming more frowned upon #savetheplanet.
I liked this board …..”You will never win, if you never begin” it might not have been a quick time compared to the Berlin world record but I think all of us that entered should be proud of completing what is still the benchmark of distance running.
Thanks to RunThrough uk for a well organised day in a great location and an impressive t-shirt and medal.
Happy Running everyone …………. thanks for reading and see you at the Isle of White marathon in four weeks.