On the 1st of November 2020 I took part in the God of Thunder Marathon, held at Denbies Vineyard by Phoenix Running events. This was originally going to be my Virtual New York Marathon, until I decided I would aim for a quicker time, and Denbies was never going to be the venue for a quick Marathon. So instead, I decided I would stick with Denbies for a great event, but also do my Virtual New York Marathon the day before. Check out how it went HERE.
I am not including the Virtual Marathon as part of my Marathon numbers, as they don’t count towards the 100 Marathon Club. However, with tired legs following a 3:25 26.2 mile run, I made my way to Denbies for my 59th official marathon, 68th towards 100 Marathon Club (including 5 ultra and 4 Ironman). I was actually fairly surprised that I was feeling ok on race morning. Maybe its because I subconsciously eased off a little at the end of my Virtual New York Marathon, maybe its just psychological, but I didn’t feel too bad. After running Beachy Head Marathon the week before, and a marathon the day before, I thought I would be worse.
I laid out my kit the day before, knowing it would be a hilly and muddy run. White trainers I hear you cry? Well these are my newest, and trainers with the best tread. I have never owned a pair of trail shoes (I probably should by now), so these are the best option I had for trails. When I woke up it was dark, and a bit miserable outside. I must admit, I didn’t fancy it, and if I could have stayed in bed I would have, but I wanted the medal, and another official marathon.
So I knew there would be hills, and I knew it would be muddy, but I didn’t quite realise how bad. I have ran the parkrun at Denbies once, but this course is more on the grass, and takes you over all the hills.
Phoenix held another event the day before, so with the torrential rain, and many people running lap after lap, we started off slipping and sliding, and it was only set to get worse. I surprised myself and started off ok, I wasn’t fast, but I genuinely don’t think I would have naturally ran much faster on fresh legs. But I was slower on the hills, and most of the rest of the course I was slow to stop myself falling over. There was a fast section too, so at one point across the 8 laps I flew down the hill, and even on my last lap I reached 7 min mile on this section.
Denbies is beautiful to run around. And as the day went on more people came to walk around, its clearly a popular destination, which I’m glad I’m now aware of. It isn’t the easiest of routes to run, and doing 8 laps for a marathon is hard work. I ran much of the route with Sai Yee Lam and we motivated each other to keep going. I kept losing her up the hill, but towards the end she slowed and I am glad she managed to keep going and keep up with me.
This marathon was all about the medal for me. I was looking for an event, and when I saw this medal, it had to be this one.
I have to admit, I was pretty tired after a double marathon weekend. The God of Thunder was one of my slowest marathons, but I didn’t care, I’m happy with the achievement.
I wonder, will my trainers ever be the same again.