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Road Race Results
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Here we go again! The third of three marathons in five days. The third time to complete 7-and-a-bit laps of Caldecotte Lake. The third Enigma Running medal of the week to earn. And the satisfaction of completing my first "double" marathon weekend. After a very enjoyable HRR Christmas Curry at Saffron the night before, it was up bright & early to head back to Milton Keynes to join 50 other intrepid runners taking part in the last Enigma event of 2013. If anything the costumes are more outlandish than the day before, and my nerves are through the roof. I've never attempted quite so much in such a short period of time. My last "big" running challenge was running 200 miles in a month. This week I will notch up 87 miles in just five days - over twice the daily average - no wonder I'm worried if I can make it through the day. If anything the weather looks more promising than Saturday, and I opt to ditch my running jacket on the first lap, as I pass the finish about half a mile into the race. My legs amazingly feel strong and confident, so I decide to stick to the same plan as the day before - with the mile/minute run/walk strategy. My mood swings up & down between confidence in the way I am feeling to uncertainty that at any moment my body will rebel and all strength will fade to nothing, meaning a long and painful walk to the finish. Or worse still having to pull up short and admit defeat. However as the miles pass, my mood improves as my worries diminish to nothing. At the end of the third lap the race director warns me that I should put my bag in the tent, as the grey sky ahead means rain is imminent. I follow her advice, but daftly don't grab my running jacket, even though it looks like I'll need it. Oh well, I'll have to make it through the next 40 minutes and hope I don't get drenched. The rain comes, but it's only a light smattering. The wind has picked up too, and some of the more exposed parts of the course mean a demoralising headwind to contend with. At the end of lap 4, the RD asks with concern if I am warm enough, I admit that I am not, and head into the tent to grab my coat. With an extra layer of warmth, I feel better and head off again. The rain passes without causing too much discomfort, and even the strong bursts of wind are manageable, as strangely my feeling for the race is going from strength to strength - because my legs seem to be determined to not show any signs of wanting to give up! I am constantly working out my average pace, my lap splits, and how many minutes I have to spare to make sure I get another sub-five finish. It soon becomes apparent that not only will getting under 5 hours be easily possible, but it looks increasingly likely that I'll actually beat my Saturday time to boot! The last lap is a struggle however, with some very strong gusts of wind. I want to speed up to just get it over with, but don't have enough energy in reserve, so it's time to dig in and keep going. One foot in front of the other. And my consistency pays off, knocking a minute of the day before. A congratulatory kiss & hug awaits from the Race Director, and a hearty handshake from the Enigma Running boss. The afternoon is cold, I am spent, and I don't have the heart to stay around catching a chill, so it's straight into the car for the 1½ hour drive home for a hot bath and a sleep! I heartily recommend the Enigma Running events, although running laps is certainly not to everyone's taste. It's a very friendly bunch, and all the marathons have a small field (the biggest event being limited to about 70 runners - most are about 40-50 entrants). However these events are very popular with multiple marathon runners - so fill up fast - in fact the next 7 events of 2014 are already full. The next marathon that will be available is the Night Fever - an evening race around Furzton Lake - this one a more mind boggling 17-lap race! See http://www.enigmarunning.co.uk/ for more details - or ask me if you're interested in finding out more about these races.
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Position|Name|Club|Gun Time| 1|Jim Murray|Bideford AAC|3.07.34 18|Maria Kerr|Unaffiliated|4.07.04 30|Ulen Neale|Headington RR|4.44.09 51|Liz Small|Unaffiliated|6.30.52