It was, oddly, great to be back training properly today. Although I think my legs appreciated the rest after the battering they took in last weekend’s snow, I was starting to get twitchy about how many miles I was falling behind schedule. After 4 easy miles in the gym on Friday, the real test for the weekend was the first road race of the year, the Lliswerry 8
This is an eight mile run through the countryside south-east of Newport, where you pass through the villages of Whitson, Goldcliffe and Nash. The Caldicot Levels, as it is known, is an area of Wales I know next to nothing about – hence the village links included here. There’s some fascinating stuff there, not least the stuff about the old private zoo. I could well imagine a hippo being quite at home in some of the wetlands we went past today… On a more serious note, given that today is Holocaust Memorial Day, it was interesting to read that Whitson Court was home to German Jewish refugees during the Second World War. Amazing, the history that’s right on your doorstep.
Anyhow, I had none of this knowledge to hand as I huffed and puffed round the delightfully flat course. The eight miles was done in just over 60 minutes, a time I’m very pleased with. I had allowed myself a full ten minutes more as a target. But the flat course and chilly breeze got me round double-quick. I finished just about in the top half of nearly 600 runners.
Andrew and Huw, who I’d travelled with, were also happy with their times. The picture here is of Huw clutching his running number coming down the last 200m, following a very minor wardrobe malfunction. It was a good morning’s work – and thanks so much to the all the marshals and volunteers for making it possible. Not least because they were hit with the worst of the weather as the event drew to a close.
The only dark spot of the day, was our failure to secure a table at The Bell Inn in Caerleon for post-race sustenance. It came well recommended and certainly seemed a better bet than the more functional substitute we found nearby. Resolved to book ahead for the Newport Half Marathon!
Run: Friday 4miles in gym; Sunday 8 milles in 60m15s
Spotted: multi-coloured shirts on a motley crew of club runners, most ahead, but some behind; a tractor, stopped and almost puzzled, waiting for 600 runners, a bale of hay held high; roadside volunteers illuminated in high vis jacket, clapping, directing, waving; an elite runner, stopped, finished, taking the time to roar us home; a lot of flat, strange, barren land, wet lands, bad lands? Strange lands.
Sponsorship: some movement, but lots still to raise!