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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 tell. 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 much. 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.
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position#name#result# 1#Terence Forrest#2:57:56# 6#Katherine Brougham#3:21:30# 57#Ulen Neale#5:58:31# 65#British Female Record Holder#6:49:20#