Well where do we start with a review of the Mackworth Challenge Marathon, lets start with the weather – on my 7:15am arrival at the Sports centre it was quite clear the weather was going to play its part before, during and after the run.
As I started to get things ready and unload the car full of kit, Andy arrived with a boot full also – we set the course out on the field then Andy in his running kit set off to mark the rest of the route with some arrows, chalk, sawdust, tape and some inspirational signage – did any of you nip of and follow the sign for the pub, you certainly started then finished it off, did you get motivated by The Motivational Banner. Whilst Andy was busy getting his first lap in, Chris Hopkinson arrived with guess what his car also bulging with kit (so much to do) and the rain started to show itself a little bit.
But its 8:15am and everything was coming together, fast forward to 8:30am people start to arrive and that means so do the cakes WOW so many cakes we are going to be fed well today. Whilst some of us are licking our lips and marvel at the table full of treats, Hayley Ho starts registration with runners turning up from Shelton, TDR, Derwent and Mickleover Running Club.
9:20am Registration is complete- 31 runners excitedly gather round for a short brief of the course, the layout for the day and eat cake, 9:30am everybody is on their way for the first lap and the rain was sticking with us but it didn’t dampen peoples spirits or enthusiasm.
Not too many marshals were needed today, Marie Standley took up the postion at the junction of the paths for a couple of laps, nearly 19 mins gone and the first runner is coming back – so Andy and Chris Purslow are poised and ready to start recording times and they were kept on their toes as runners started to flood back. Then we had a system set up recording lap times and transferring to the master sheet which had been cleverly designed by Chris Hopkinson – Hayley, Helen and Cath shared the responsibility of moving the figures over onto paper then the laptop which added the times up automatically.
As the laps passed by the rain got heavier, this was becoming a bigger challenge as the day went on for the runners having to deal with being wet/ cold, doing laps, stop/start, tight muscles and they were starting to talk how the course was playing with their minds. Recognising where a mile was, the fast down hill catching you out but then on the way back it became a drag of a hill but knew they were close to having cake AGAIN. But wait here we go again, before each lap they hear Chris/Andy countdown warning as they take a quick sip of drink or choosing what to have next from the treat table.
By midday the sun made an appearance but not for long, runners were still going some taking a rest on a lap to gather themselves and replace much needed energy – which was great to see people telling themselves I can do one more, some had set a target – everyone achieved something and more with the conditions and the course.
We are nearing the end, as I remind them a chip cob awaits them at the pub plus the rain is coming down again. Its 2pm the last lap and Andy joins for his second lap to take the course markings down. All runners finished, tent/ gazebo down leftover cakes packed away, car boots back to looking like they did 8 hours earlier – the field is tidy and still raining. Looks like nothing happened here but something did the Mackworth Challenge Marathon, it started out as a idea but it became more than that and I’m sure everyone took away a memory from the day.
This was a charity run, so from your donations we have raised £135.70p for the Head and Neck Oncology Unit at the Royal Derby Hospital, give yourselves a pat on the back
Final bit retire to the pub for a pint and that chip cob which I had been thinking about since 7:15am, the view is this event should happen again. In what context, format and how to take it further is a discussion for another day, so I guess its watch this space and talk about it through the clubs.
Thank you to Chris Hopkinson and Andy Brookes for their guidance and advice in helping put this on, really couldn’t have done it without them.
Thanks to Chris Purslow, Hayley Ho, Helen Heywood, Marie Standley, Cath Pearch for timekeeping, registration, making drinks, helping runners
Thank you everyone for helping tidy up at the end and for bringing cakes
Thank you runners, its not an event without people taking part. You lot were absolutely brilliant, rest those legs until tomorrow