Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Marathon and Half Marathon

Wow! what a day Sunday was.
After a lot of hard work and only minutes to spare we were finally ready for the runners to arrive at 9am for the start of the Marathon at Craven Arms.
Busses duly turned up and dispatched 130 runners in pristine running gear ready to register and get warmed up (this mostly seemed to involve sunbathing).
Jonathan Edwards also arrived with the worlds media close behind, doing a few interviews was fun but i was starting to wish i was in my running kit and able to take part in the race. Jonathan gave a few words of encouragement to the runners on the start line before sending them on their way.
Seeing the runners set off brought with it a mixture of emotions, whilst being proud i was also a little nervous about whether all the waymarkers were positioned ok and if the marshalls were in position. Fortunately i didn't have too long to worry about it as i needed to dash to Wilderhope Manor for the start of the Half Marathon.

Wilderhope Manor had caused me a few headaches due to the ridiculous amount of rain we have had, as parking was all on grass. It was a great relief when i arrived to find that all was under control and everyone was just about ready for the start. Jonathan kindly started the Half Marathon before departing for lunch, i did another interview for radio 4 before helping set up the checkpoint. With all the marshalls at this busy location in place i left, heading for the finish area at Much Wenlock. I had a quick stop off at the final 3 checkpoints on the way, to drop off water and tables and chat to marshalls.

The finish area had been brilliantly set up by the time i arrived and crowds were gathering on the Church Green in anticipation of the first runners arriving. There were lots more people there than i had imagined and we knew when a runner was approaching as a loud chear and applause could be heard from the streets around the Church. This continued all afternoon with all competitors recieving hearty and well deserved congratulations all the way to the finish line. Not sure quite what people had been doing but somehow they had managed to get their kit and themselves absolutely plastered in mud!

Jonathan Edwards kindly handed out medals to 1st, 2nd and 3rd in all the age categories that were completed at 3pm, he then spent a lot of time talking to people, signing autographs and having his photo taken.

I did one more interview with radio 4 before doing a spot of marshalling and chatting to people who were walking funny for some reason! After clapping the last finishers into the finish we quickly packed up and departed just before it started to rain.

Thanks to everyone who made it such an enjoyable day, participants, marshalls, supporters and everyone elso who was involved in some way.

Unfortunately i didn't get the chance to take any photos so if anyone has some that they wouldn't mind sharing please send them to chris.dunkerley@nationaltrust.org.uk

The radio 4 programme is on Thursday at 3pm


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