Dirty Running Marathon (18/02/18 – 62)

Again running a marathon in UK, almost 4 years after my last one, with the main goal of celebrating my 42 years and 195 days. Registration priced at £40, for a race near London, that will take place in the Thames Riverside. For changing facilities and locker facilities we have the Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Centre available, only 5 minutes walking from the race start/finish tent, where we are directed after a brief informative talk 15 minutes before the 9.30 start. The race is going to take place in a closed loop of about 3.3 miles, open to the public, and available for running as many laps as desired in a total time of 6 h. Nevertheless, as seen later, most of the participants will go for the marathon distance, that will require 8 completed laps. At 9.30 and with a temperature of 8-9°C, that will remain constant, and a sunny start, around 100 runners start the race. The circuit is mainly flat, besides a small bridge, short in distance but with a steep climb. The drinks station is in the start area, although easily could have been another one in the turnaround point, at halfway. Track is mainly tarmac-free, and muddy in the most proximal area to the start, although easily skipped by almost every runner from the first lap on, thanks to a parallel road. The scenery is very idyllic, and the laps start going down quickly, without having a look to the time until I finish the fourth lap, with nearly 2h, and when I realise that the pace is not as fast as I was expecting. The last laps start feeling monotonous, with the section running against the wind feeling cold, and warmer the section we run with the wind in favour.

8 laps, and I rang the bell, for a 4.05.48 time. Winner finishes in 3.32, for a demanding circuit, as my hips can confirm. In the goodie bag, a big medal. For the high registration price, and because of the absence of a complicated organization effort, you would expect a bit more for your money, but the overall experience was good and the installations excellent.

Score: 3.5 (out of 5)

Pros: facilities near the start/finish area; scenery

Cons: 8 laps in a closed loop circuit, means 16 times the same sights; goodie bag could take a bit mo

Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Complex

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