An early start from Wells and it was pouring down all the way there – not an auspicious start. Also we were still a bit bleary from flying into Heathrow on Wednesday and I still had the remains of a cold and a growling voice to prove it. Nevertheless, when we arrived in a Great Yarmouth, the rain stopped although the winds continued.
We found the car park, put our Great Yarmouth Road Runners logo in the window so parking would be free, and set of to find the school that was Race HQ for the day. That was easy – we just followed everyone else. Registration was similarly easy – lots of people on iPads. You told them your month an date of birth and were given the next available number – very efficient! We pinned on our numbers at the usual less than perfect angle, visited the pupils’ toilets and set off to find the start which was on a running track just off the promenade.
Before long it was line up time – we could see the Mayor in his regalia but couldn’t hear a word that was said. And then we were off on the more or less two loop course along the promenade with the sea on one side and hotels well past their glory days on the other. Before long, there was local Wells runner James O’Neill on his way back – in third place. It was dry, but it wasn’t until you turned on the first return loop that you realised it was windy and the return part was into a strong head wind. So turning to start the second lap was something of a relief, although running with the wind behind you made breathing harder work. Nevertheless, my pacing was going well and I was on target with about 5 minute kilometres to finish in just under an hour. Then I heard Amberley call my name and just managed to wave and call back – she was on the final return loop.
But by now the wind had got up more, my knee was hurting (as usual!) and I slipped back to just over 6 minute kilometres for the last couple of kilometres. And then it was turning onto the race track for the last 300 metres and crossing the finishing line just a few seconds slower than my target. A medal, water, banana and a T-shirt and then just a short wait for Ceri.
On the way out we bumped in to James O’Neill again, waiting to pick up his prize for his third place finish in 34:35. And his first words were, “That wind! Wasn’t it dreadful on the way back?” We couldn’t have agreed with him more.
But a good well organised run on a flat seaside course – we’d do it again!
Ambie – 48:05.0
Chris P – 1:00:29.7
Ceri – 1:06:24.2