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Suckley Quarter Marathon - Alan's first ever race!

Suckley Quarter Marathon 2024 – Race Report

So, I entered my first ever race. I’ve never been into the idea of races, but I was largely drawn in by the “Marathon” in the title, and as it was local and for a good cause I thought I’d give it a try. Putting kilometers 8 to 10 aside, I’m glad I did. It was fun to do, well organised, and rewarding, in terms of plenty of cake and medals at the end – and a good team spirit from the Trailblazers.

I arrived at about 10, and parked pretty much outside the Hop Shed venue, and was guided to collect my envelope of goodies (timing tag, and number), and was ready to run by 10:10. Unfortunately we had to wait until 11am, by which time it was a bit hotter, and I’d had to pee twice (nerves kicking in?). We had a fair contingent from the Trailblazers – Hannah, Tony, Neil, Todd, Jaz, Peter and myself. Having just done 21 miles yesterday, Hannah said she’d take it easy, so I thought I’d run at her pace. I was with her at the start, but I soon found that her “take it easy” pace was faster than my comfortable pace, and wisely chose not to keep up with her. There was quite a lot of road running on the route – more than we would do on a normal run, and soon after the start was a fairly gruelling climb that I just about managed to do without having to walk. Only 8km to go though after that. It couldn’t be too bad, right? Well, it wasn’t too bad, but it was a lot harder than our Sunday runs. The water station was a very welcome sight, albeit a sign that we were only halfway round, and soon after we were into the fields. This was more like a Trailblazers run now. I was definitely flagging as we approached the end though. I walked for a brief part through the grave yard (thought it would be a good place to collapse, if I was going to, save them some time), but otherwise managed to run pretty much all the way. The marshalling and route marking were both excellent. No chance of getting lost, even from the front runners, not that I was anywhere near them. Lots of support from householders in their gardens.

Final time was 59’ 45”, and placed 73rd. I was happy with that. Despite what I was thinking in the last quarter, I would do it again. Great atmosphere, very friendly, great organisation. I didn’t stop for a beer but I bet that was great too. Alan Clarke

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