No, don’t be silly, although I did complete it once in 1990, the year that I bought my first house. Maybe next year?
I’ve felt a general malaise over the last couple of weeks and I would have AGAIN happily not run… but for two things. One, the need to write and two, the fact that there is now officially going to be a Brighton Marathon next year. Places can be booked from Tuesday and I figured that if I couldn’t demonstrate to myself that I could overcome a little lethargy, I really shouldn’t be entering.
Lifting my legs as I ran off down the road required a huge effort and I thought this was going to be a short run indeed. Since the bike ride was on though, I thought I should at least go across and see the fun before I threw in the towel. I ran down through the new Folders Keep for the first time (last time I went through that way it was a waterlogged meadow) and across the the cyclists route. There were more bikes going past than I expected for 9.40am.
Then I headed for Ditching on the east side of the road, round behind all the garden centres. It was to be a farmyard experience. First up, the young cows, which I came face to face with as they barred my way. Ususally cows get out of my way, but this morning it was as if I had ‘breakfast’ written all over me and followed me on the other side of a fence before pushing forward to see how I tasted. Spooked, I backed off and they decided to show what a great team they were by heading off around the perimeter of the field. In a thundering, tight group. As they headed back to where I first encountered them, I picked up my skirts and ran across the field for the next stile.
Further along I came upon a small flock of lambs, who crowded around me as if I still had the ‘breakfast’ sign lit. As I stepped over a stile they tried to reach through to take my waterbottle and as I moved it back I startled them, otherwise this photo would be far sweeter.
Yet further along I was harrassed by some chickens who also chased after me… what’s going on here?
Finally I made it to Ditchling and there was a certain irony when the Marshall controlling the traffic at the crossroads waved the cars across just as I was about to run through following some cyclists as they whizzed through the village…. ‘sorry mate, I didn’t see you’.
I think you’ll have realised that by now I was past the lethargy and whilst not running strong, I was committed to Ditchling Beacon. I took my favourite path up, getting admiring comments from some walkers and as I neared the top I dropped onto the road rather than get tangled in the spectators. Unused to running on tarmac, I verily zoomed up, overtaking all the cyclists that were there and getting some funny glances from all concerned.
Making the Beacon at the 1 hour 7 minute mark, I turned back around and headed down again, this time down the next track to Westmeston. From here I ran along Underhill Lane and turned right onto a new (to me) track that took me back to Ditchling. Via a field with some hungry horses that ambled after me.
I then retraced my steps behind all the garden centres, noting a small room with a view en-route.
As I ran down a piece of unused road near St Georges Retreat, I tripped. I’m forever reminding my parents that they need to exercise their quads to help stop them falling over when they trip, but even my well-exercised, if tired, quads did not save me this time. I ran forward, trying desperately to gain control with my hands close enough to the ground to touch it, but realising that a crash was inevitable, I jettisoned my water-bottle and dropped into a low and uncomfortable roll.
I lay there, laughing and busily trying to take a photo as a couple with their daughter and two dogs walked gently up. Sniggering. It was quite satisfying that I had at least had an audience, even though I had to jump up before the dogs tucked in to my face.
Short run back across the increasingly fuller flow of cycles and back home for 2 hours, 17 minutes.
12.2 miles at 5.3mph. NOW I feel lethargic, although at least I can enter the marathon with impunity!