Ed: Cherryl Sinclair & myself (Peter Simpson) ran this event, starting in Central Milton Keynes. There were accompanying events over 5K & 10K that started earlier. The forecast was for good conditions but leading up to the starts it was raining, breezy and feeling cool. Luckily we had indoor shelter from the elements in the Xscape that also includes a branch of The Sweatshop running store. Lining up was rather haphazard with no estimated time markings. Fortunately the rain stopped before the start.
Starting in Central Milton Keynes we were at a high point so we were soon running at pace in a southerly direction on the grid roads. Unlike the previous course from the Open University we stayed on the main roads for about 2-3 miles and it was feeling easy but given my recent restricted training due to injury & illness I thought it could not last. Ending back in Central Milton Keynes, we had to climb back to the highest point. Starting at a pace I have been use to running in the past it was difficult to hold back. Slowly I began to run out of energy and was feeling it at every little climb but generally managed to maintained position. Between 11 & 12 miles as the climbs were longer and steeper I felt like I was hitting the wall but runners around me were also struggling.
There was a big crowd at the finish so put on a brave face as I held on for the line before staggering through the finish funnel. The gun time was 1.38.47, a respectable time for me and the chip time 1.37.36, position 385. Cherryl had run the Thames Towpath 20 miles the previous week so was still recovering from her longest ever event distance. Not surprising, Cherryl said that it was a struggle and had to walk for stretches towards the end. Her time was 2.12.17, not much slower than her other races of this distance.