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Sunday 28 April 2019

The Longhorn

Today L and I both do the Longhorn Half Marathon at Thoresby Park. L signed up for this a while ago figuring that while the 10k would have been sensible, an off-road half marathon sounded too good to miss. Which is the opposite of the logic I would have used. Now she is a reluctant participant but one with a masterplan - ‘How to Finish a Half Marathon Without Training For It’. Sorted.

We leave the dogs at home and take the new car, travelling in style. It’s a late start for our race, 11:50, so I take them for a park session first. There are actually various distances I could have done with the Lad but decide to go it alone.

I shouldn’t really be doing this at all, as my calf isn’t up to it but if I’m going to do justice to my birthday present (Windermere Marathon) then I need the training run even if I have to crawl the second lap. Yes, the half marathon is two laps.

There is also a 5k, a full marathon and a 60k Ultra for the excessively stupid. Maybe next year.

I strap everything up and take it very easy, making sure I don’t toe strike to preserve my bad calf. I'm even chilled enough to partake of the odd chunk of cake at the feed stations.

There are plenty of Nordic Walkers which set me off thinking whether those poles they use would help take the stress off my calves. Is Nordic Running also a thing?

The route, through Sherwood Forest and allegedly over old military roads (they’re all forest tracks to me) was nice, if you like that sort of thing. I prefer city centres myself. The terrain is not too leg braking but might have been had I been strapped to a dog.

The mile marking is a tad bizarre. Miles 1 to 6 are marked out but what this all means when you start lap two I have no idea, given a lap is 6.55 miles. That said, from what I call tell, I’m almost but not quite on Marathon pace and I finish in 2:04, which isn’t a total disaster. I did try and lift the pace towards the end which didn’t help my calves, which had until that point held up well.

I am handed my ‘bespoke’ race finishers medal which is allegedly one of the big selling point of the race. That is, if you’re into your bling which I’m not but at least I will save mine. L will most likely bin hers straight away. There’s no t-shirt included but there are some to buy.

Then I wait for L who pronounces herself pleased with her efforts which included a bit of run-walk to get herself through it.

Then it’s home to cheer up the dogs and have a ‘debrief’ before heading out for a few beers. We drink in the Hockley Rebel and the Lord Roberts before going for a meal at Bar Iberico. This is the bar version of their restaurant which does open on a Sunday. The food is very good as is the sherry we have for dessert.

(Sunday 28th April )

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