Maria Hamilton says:
Another “old home week” run this one, as it starts from, finishes at, and is sponsored by, Howbery Park – where I & one of my running mates used to work and where our better halves (also running mates) still do (for their sins!).
Those of you who do get outside will have noticed wet stuff falling from the sky… but luckily the race wasn’t cancelled like last year, just re-routed to about 10k. The original route was about 14k: on Friday I was feeling short-changed, but this morning, as I staggered about in the sunshine having done 6k, I was pretty glad there was no more than 4k left to go!
The race itself was pretty well run and included some interesting bits like the “old road”. The bypass is less than 20 years old but you can barely tell the “old road” once was a real road – it is now pretty much a green track and I was quite startled to look down and see a cats-eye and white line at my feet! In fact “interesting” is a good word for the route – it included other highlights such as the minute-long queue for the stile at ~4k (which I was glad to see as I’d gone out way too fast – though I suppose it does at least count as some sort of temp workout!), numerous kissing-gates, and a bit of bunting (not for us) out in Wallingford town centre. Plenty of water (in bottles) at start, middle, and end, good marshalling, and even a bit of local support here & there. At the end we got a medal and a t-shirt, and could go and stroke the goats etc at the mobile petting zoo (!). The goose tried to leg it at one point but was carried back to its pen.
When I got to 8k I thought, “Oh blimey, another 10.. okay, 12… minutes to go… sigh!”. Imagine my delight to see the 9k sign practically round the corner! Yes, the race was really only about 9.5k. It was a hot day. I was glad :). Even gladder when, trudging across a cornfield, I suddenly realised that I the blue finish gantry was in sight! A tiny lady in black was gaining on me, but something rose up in me (the same thing that grips your gut when you look across the station and suddenly realise that THERE IS YOUR TRAIN, AT ANOTHER PLATFORM), and it picked me up and threw me across the finish line ahead of her.
I shall never know who the Lady In Black was, though, because the results are all skew-whiff, out by minutes in some cases, and say that the next lady home after me was Julie from the gym (which wasn’t true as I have known Julie for years and besides she was in Abingdon Amblers yellow).
No other vegans there, but a couple of women from VCAC, including Mary who sends her regards to P.S.