Lyn and Chris McDonnell went to Stratford-on-Avon for the Half-Marathon. Notfasts very own Anthony and Cleopatra found that on account of the Tempest the weather was not As they Liked It.  Read on…over to you Cleo…

Chris and I ran this today at Stratford-on-Avon. It was a very wet and windy event. It was also very muddy; some of the route was on a sandy pathway which was full of puddles. This event should have included a full marathon which was cancelled due to the weather. We had great support, the marshalls were very good, full of loud encouragement. At the end we got a free cup of tea, a bin liner (much needed as I was wet all the way through) and a medal. This would have been a lovely event if the weather had been dry. It was an undulating route with great views, we agreed to try it again next year. My time wasn’t very good – I’m blaming the weather, I finished in 2.02.29. Chris had a better run, he finished in 1.38.08. These are our watch times, it was chip timed but we do not have the official results yet.

Further ‘up North’ in Manchester another Act of The Tempest was being played out.

This was the first Manchester Marathon in ten years . As such this event was eagerly anticipated by the 8000 runners who had received their chip-timed bib numbers in the post. The day turned into a disaster zone though, due to a late start with the start area under water, rivers on the roads, unavoidable ankle deep mud and much publicised chaos at the baggage collection points…tempers were stretched and the subsequent barrage of complaints regarding organisation has lead the organisers to issue a public apology.

The truly hideous conditions of wind, rain and freezing cold, meant that of the 8000, only 4452 finished. A report tells of some 400 runners who were in need of treatment…many of them hospitalised…with rampant hypothermia.  These conditions would have been a test for Emergency Services ‘Disaster Plans’…central Manchester hospitals A&E Departments were all full. Many entrants probably never even made the start line.

In the middle of this devastation, zoom in and see the lone figure of Notfasts Claire Moyes pounding on through the freezing rain on her mission to finish her first Marathon. There were no moments of fun here, just the dogged determination of a runner with a cause. When she crossed the line her hands were too cold to switch off her watch…read that last bit again !

If all this sounds like something from a nightmare, it is worth pointing out that the good people of Manchester supported the event fantastically. the marshals also are deserving of praise..(some of  these good souls had to be pulled off duty to be replaced with thawed out ones)..the landlord of The Windmill at about 20 miles was taking people in and handing dry towels and hot drinks to those seeking shelter in the Pub..the VIP tent at the finish turned into a kind of Field Hospital.

So, Claire Moyes has finished her first Marathon in 5 hours 24 mins 11 secs.  I invite Notfast Running Club to be upstanding and applaud an athlete who gave of her best, in the worst conditions imaginable.  This is the stuff that Notfasts are made of .  Far from being ‘over the hill’ when past 35 years of age,  Notfast Runners have the very qualities that make Heroes, and in this case a Heroine.

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