When I finished the North Dorset Marathon on the 4th May I felt so elated that I quickly looked around for another marathon.
I wanted a run that was not too far away from home.
Looking around I stumbled across the Littledown Marathon, 26 laps of scenic Littledown Park the website said so I entered.
I tried to persuade Ben Smith to come with me and he tried but unfortunately was too late entering.
So the morning came and I arrived at Littledown as the sole Hedge End Runner. I parked and escorted by my wife quickly picked up my racepack.
Number on and we were soon at the start. before I knew it we were off. 26 and a bit laps in front of me
It wasn’t long before we came through the start/finish line for the first time, plenty of encouragement from the small but vocal crowd.
The one mile course was almost entirely flat and apart from a small section after the start/finish area run on grass.
First lap done and all going ok, suddenly behind me came the shout “lead runner”, Steve Way (Commonwealth Games Entrant for England) rushed past me and was on his 3rd lap already.
Before long he was lapping me again and again. Coming through the start/finish line at one point I got a massive boost “halfway there” said one of the organisers, Ok I thought going well, soon my bubble was burst as I realised that Steve Way was lapping me again and they were talking to him, “sorry you are going out on number 8” I was told.
Every lap seemed to be getting slower, the organisers were great “come on Kevin” they implored at every lap.
The start/finish area was full of free drinks and gels and also included a tub of cold water sponges, I made the mistake of trying to cool my feet down with one of these sponges.
I did not help as I now was running with wet and sore feet.
One of things that kept me going was in the vain hope that I crossed the start/finish area and arrived at the sponge station with a runner called Robert, I wanted to say to him “Sponge Bob ?”- it never happened.
At 20 I nearly stopped, a few people had already stopped and I really though about it. “No Keep going” Wendy shouted, “Nearly there now”.
At about lap 22 my feet were so sore, I walked a little. I was trying to think of novel ways to run now, I tried running toe- heel – I cant do that in training and I certainly couldn’t do it after 22 laps.
Onwards, this was now in the realms of Physical and mental torture. Somehow though I got through it and was soon out on the last lap,this was slow.
The park attendant threw me some keys “ what are these for I asked”, “ Lock up when you finish will you I’m going home” (this is just a joke at my expense).
At long last the finish is in sight, a slight (very slight) increase in pace and I’m done, no cramp but very sore feet. Medal collected and I’m finished at last.
All in all a well organised little event and certainly very good if you cannot face going from point to point in a marathon.
However this is not one for me again, another marathon definitely yes but sadly not this one.
Ben Smith you are one lucky guy.