Round round Rotherham
Running round Rotherham. It conjures an image of dodging shopping trolleys and chavs. The reality is far more pleasant, although it does have its moments (mainly around Meadowhell).
I ran this for the first time in 2008. The second of two epic years of bad weather, with driving rain, temperatures barely above zero and deep, sticky mud. I plodded my way round in 12.4something.
In 2009 the new October date brought sunny weather and firm fields. And off the back of CCC training I had my best run to date cruising around in 10.29, finishing 10th woman, in the company of much faster runners.
In contrast by October this year I was slightly battered and running on empty. However I didn’t expect to struggle quite as much as I did in the first half. As usual most of the field disappeared into the distance at the start at high speed.
However catching (at least some of) them up again like usual didn’t happen. The expensive anti-blisters socks I bought from the US after the Heart of Scotland 105, turned out to be slightly too big and caused blisters. And my usually robust stomach rebelled, leading to a ‘regurgitating a biscuit in a bush’ incident at 20 miles. I told myself I had to get to at least 30 miles before dropping out, and plodded on.
Eventually I started feeling alright, and with any time goals discarded enjoyed chatting to some familiar faces. My appetite finally returned and at the final checkpoint I grabbed two handfuls of biscuits and headed off, determined to finally drop the group I’d been going back and forth with for most of the day (they were moving faster, but lingering at checkpoints). And I would have done if my brain hadn’t failed on me. Close to the finish the route was marked with tape. And on automatic I followed the tape down a narrow path overgrown with brambles. I eventually realised that there was no way 100+ runners had been through before me, but convinced myself it was best to keep going, until I reached a dead end with a 3 metre metal fence... Back tracking I reached the finish in 11.4something, just after the group. The fact the bloke behind me in the post-race food queue (wearing a Lakeland 100 top) had made the same mistake cheered me up slightly.