Your Club Secretary takes a break from the admin to give a performance:
One of my annual events, it is a comfortable cycle journey following a short train ride but subject to the weather. This time I did not check the train times and discovered my service started one station further down the line. Luckily it was not crucial, allowing me to go one further stop on the next service to make up some time and cycle a bit faster. Arrived with still 50 minutes to go and immediately met VC&AC members Keith & Sharon Hammond before I had parked the bike. Today was an arranged meet-up of VC&AC members so wearing their vest
The weather was ideal on arrival, cloudy and coolish but it was not long before the clouds melted and it was brilliant sunshine. Other VC&AC members Mary Davis and Nik Windle (also vegan) soon met us in front of the Aylesbury Rugby clubhouse. The start is a little more crucial here for the faster runners who need to get on the road rather than line up in the entrance before turning right. Keith & I were near the front as we were soon sent on our way. Unfortunately for one female runner near us, she fell to the ground, obviously an accident. Another runner in front of me seemed distracted so had to warn him to keep going otherwise…
After that incident I lost track of Keith so wondered if he had been caught up in the aftermath. Maybe a minute later Keith eased past me trying to make up time. I was feeling a little sluggish soon after the start but going at a steady pace helped by the flat course. At about halfway in the centre of Wendover we turned left towards RAF Halton and there began the roller coaster run with three climbs although I had forgotten about the third. The only drinks station was most welcome during this section. Strangely I soon became more comfortable and overtook more runners here.
After the last hill we turned left into the RAF base although still a public road and began the descent towards the finish. On this occasion apart from the initial & final descents, most of this stretch did not seem as comfortable as previous events but I was holding my place. Coming back into the Rugby ground I had no idea of my time but given recent form was hopeful of a sub-42 minutes time. As usual after the road, the perimeter of the rugby pitch was slower and find it drains the enthusiasm for a fast finish. I was caught on the line by a fast finishing young runner with no time to react, not that it would have made a difference. There was no obvious clock at the line, in fact it was some metres in front and to the right.
I was feeling exhausted and not helped by someone without a marshal’s tabard looking like an unattached runner getting in the way. I stopped to usher him to move on, instead he told me to keep moving. Keith seemed to have disappeared so wondered if he had been one of the victims of the incident at the start. Several minutes later Keith turned up shortly before Nik finished in 49 minutes, Keith had in fact avoided the fall and finished in another impressive 39 minutes time. Times were quickly posted as the finish progressed and I achieved a sub-42 time, in keeping with the past two of these events. Mary achieved 53 minutes but the best was reserved for last when Sharon achieved her best time since joining, finishing in 57:57. Maybe now that Sharon has dropped the half marathon we are seeing improvements over the shorter distances.
Trying to take pictures, the camera seemed to be slower today which may be due to not enough charge. Had to be satisfied with some side-on or rear photos apart from the team photos. The race photographer took pictures before the start and after the finish, not just during the race and meeting up afterwards we were caught on camera twice as can be seen here
The third leg warm-down travelling back by bike and sightseeing in good weather felt comfortable especially this time without the blackfly experienced three weeks earlier after the Wycombe half marathon.