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What lies in wait on 2nd July - The 110k course profile

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Marathon musings

Whilst out splashing along the muddy trails today I was musing on the question of why so many people run on roads or pavements. It's not a snipe, because it's what I did for years, but the more I think about it the stranger I find it. I can sort of understand it if you live in a big town, but even then there's often parks or cycle routes or some sort of other option. But most days when I drive to work I'll see a fair few folk running on the pavement alongside the A591 between Windermere and Ambleside, quite a busy road, when there are wealth of other options available.

It's a bigger question than I've got the talent (or inclination) to go into. I've recently read a book called 'Run Wild' by the unlikely sounding Boff Whalley (a member of Chumbawumba, no less) which addresses this in some detail. One of his theories is that city marathons have become such big events that they've overshadowed all other forms of running and sort of conditioned everyone to think this is the pinnacle, the target, the ultimate aim for a runner. I think.
Wet, but so much better on the knees ..... and no cars!
Don't know if that explains the popularity of the Windermere marathon though, which conducts a full circuit of England's largest lake. Sounds pleasant enough, until you look at the route. Not only is it all on roads, but the second half goes along the quite narrow and very busy A592 - and the road isn't closed to traffic. And there is no pavement. Some friends of ours saw this last year and described a scene of absolute chaos, runners all over the road, mixed in with a queue of angry traffic with the drivers taking all sorts of risks to overtake the runners in their way.

Horrible enough, but consider the 'ten in ten' participants. They do this marathon once a day, ten times in a row, with the last one being on the same day as the full event. And I thought my run sounded tough!
Wet feet ahoy!
Maybe though, it's something simpler. Maybe it's wet feet. Each time I start out on a run now I can't resist hopping and skipping around in a ridiculous manner, trying to avoid puddles. I know my feet will be soaked sooner or later and don't mind when they are (it's quite liberating actually), but I can't avoid trying to put it off as long as possible.

I'm sure it's more complex than that, but to those fearing the soggy shoe I say join us! You have nothing to lose but your dry socks .....

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