|Date:||01 Jan 2014|
|Comments:||After a few drinks with fellow runners, we awoke on New
Year's Day to see grey, but fairly bright skies over
Liverpool. Could I get another sub-five today? By the time
we reached the start, however, the rain had started and the
wind picked up. It was going to be hard work - we could
A group of us set of together, in good spirits. We
jettisoned any plans for a time, and resigned ourselves to
just getting round. We had fun, taking photos in the rain,
and playing chicken with the waves from the Mersey crashing
over the prom as we passed. Although it was grim, the first
leg was good.
It all changed on the 2nd "out". Facing a strong headwind,
the rain was icy (feeling like hail on our faces), and the
wind utterly relentless. A few miles in and I had lost the
will to carry on. I was heading for my first ever DNF. My
friend encouraged me to keep going, and we plodded on
together. I was unconvinced. The thought of another 3 hours
out in the wind & rain made hypothermia a real possibility.
At halfway - instead of giving up, I grabbed my overcoat
from the car, and swapped my soaking gloves for dry. My
running gear was already wet though - but with a thicker
outer layer, I was warm enough to keep going. And at least
the rain had stopped! The plan was to push on for another
out & back, and turn back early at the first sign it was too
However the wind - still very strong on the southbound legs
- had dropped enough to no longer be soul-destroying. And
there was always the knowledge that the "back" leg would
mean the wind was behind us.
The 4th and final leg wasn't as hard as the 2nd, but
tiredness was a big factor now. And we still had a couple of
miles straight into the wind to contend with. But at the
same time, each forward step was one fewer step in the
difficult direction and one closer to the turn-around and
the last 3 mile leg to the finish.
We picked up our pace slightly at this point, as I was
constantly calculating the shrinking distance and the
likelihood of scraping in under 6 hours - which we did with
1½ minutes to spare!
Overall I would heartily recommend this low-key marathon.
However the warnings to respect the weather and dress
accordingly for the elements need to be heeded. The weather
was so bad on New Year's Day that at 10 miles I fully
expected the race to be cancelled for our safety. But you
run at your own risk - and you're never more than 1.65 miles
from a Marshall. On a good day - the course is ideal for a
good time. In fact the winner both days proved that even on
a bad day you can still do VERY well! And it was a pleasure
to run the first leg with Kate Jayden - the new British
Female record holder having run 69 marathons in 2013. She is
totally mad and almost as relentless as the wind off the
Mersey had been.
|Previous HRR results:||None found.|