Flitch Way marathon – NYE
3 January 2018 - By Brigid Wallen
The heavy rain leading up to race day meant parts of the Flitch Way marathon on NYE were going to be a bit of a mud-bath and we weren’t disappointed.
The runners gathered at the start, standing in puddles listening to the race briefing. The finish is usually at the top of the hill by the eagle but strong winds meant the organisers couldn’t pin the gazebo down so the finish would be decided as the race went on.
6 runners from the club set off with 150 others, along the path by the hill, out to the stables along Fairy Hall Lane then onto the Flitch Way. At first runners tried to avoid the large puddles which had formed along the way, hoping not to get their feet wet too early on in the race, but by the time we saw James Blackshaw standing on the platform at Rayne – so not even 2 miles in – nobody seemed too bothered anymore as this was how it was going to be.
Any thoughts of a sub 4 hour marathon had diminished by the time Gerry and myself reached Dunmow. The path was no longer visible, we were ankle deep in mud and doing our best to stay upright. After a brief respite running through Dunmow town centre, we reached the Dunmow Cutting and a return to yet more muddy tracks.
The run is out and back with the turn around point at the edge of Hatfield Forest. It was great to receive a cheery welcome from Jen Mayes who was marshalling here offering goodies, fruit juice and cups of coke. The out and back also meant we were able to cheer each other on as we passed on the Flitch. Giles was looking strong in 3rd place and it wasn’t long before Lee passed us as we made our way to the turn around point. Gerry and I were then able to give our support to Tracey, being closed down by Nick who was not far behind. The support of all runners, whether they were leading the pack or further down the field, was truly amazing – trail running is like that.
If it’s inspiration you are after then look no further than Nick Inns. This time last year, and he won’t mind me saying this, he was 18 stone. Following a regime of diet, exercise and the support of WRC, his aim was to complete his first marathon so he opted for the Flitch Way. Talk about a baptism of fire!!
Back through the Dunmow Cutting, more mud and onto Felsted, we finally hit the home stretch and what a relief to get back to the Discovery Centre to find the finish line at the bottom of the hill 😄
A big thank you to Tony who was there to cheer us on at various points on the route and to take photos.
Finishing times are as follows:
Giles Sowerby 3.13 3rd overall
Lee Pembroke 4.17
Brigid Wallen 4.24
Gerry Greenwold 4.26
Nick Inns and Tracey Denby 5.18
Well done everyone and hope you enjoyed your New Year celebrations.