When I signed up for the Mid Sussex Marathon Weekend a few weeks ago, the weather was cold and grey and I thought it would be a good way to make the most of a miserable bank holiday weekend – needless to say I was having second thoughts as the weekend approached with talk of the hottest early May Bank Holiday on record – what idiot would put themselves through three days of racing in the heat when it could be spent sitting in a pub garden or generally relaxing and enjoying the sunshine??!!?
Well it appeared that there were nearly 300 such “idiots” who ran the three events which make up this really enjoyable but very challenging series of races which total a marathon over the three days.
Day 1 – East Grinstead 10 miles – hot, hilly and very muddy!! The most challenging conditions I’ve seen on this course. Despite the heat, in places the mud was knee deep and many a shoe was lost in the quagmire. This really is a trail race to rival our own Eridge 10 – for those of you who love hills and mud, I cannot recommend it enough!
I was 7th lady and second F45
|1||01:03:49||Ciaran Forde||Horsforth Harriers||Senior Male|
|15||01:14:13||Katie Morgan||Haywards, Heath Harriers||Senior Female|
|52||01:24:51||Nicola Morris||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||Female Vet 45 2|
Day 2 – Haywards Heath 10 miles – very hot, slightly less hilly and slightly less muddy being a mix of woodland trail and tarmac. A new route this year which thankfully avoided the Haywayds Heath by-pass – and was well supported throughout – including a very welcome improvised hosepipe shower provided by some local children. I was pleased to finish strongly having overtaken a man in the last 300m I hung on and for once was not beaten on the line!!!
I was 4th lady and second F45
|1||00:56:20||Chris Smith||Haywards Heath Harriers||Male Vet 40|
|19||01:11:48||Katie Morgan||Haywards Heath Harriers||Senior Female|
|54||01:19:07||Nicola Morris||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||Female Vet 45 2|
Day 3 – Burgess Hill 10k – the first 600m of the course was round a school playing field then we headed off to the local Nightingale fields where we did 2 figure of 8 laps round the “undulating” meadows. By this time I had clocked the lady who had been first F45 in the previous two races – long blond hair, pale blue vest, grey shorts. To my surprise as I was starting my second lap I spotted her just ahead of me….walking!!!! I gritted my teeth and decided that it was my chance so I overtook her and made sure that for the rest of the race I pushed myself to ensure there was no chance of her making a come back. I even overtook 2 men in the final 500m – those laps on the fields at Tonbridge on a Tuesday giving me the strength to push to the finish back round the school playing fields again. Imagine my dismay however when I saw the blond hair and pale blue vest of the first F45 casually swigging water at the finish as I crossed the line!!! Nooo!! It turns out that it was a lookalike who finished several minutes after me that I’d taken such delight in overtaking!! Oh well….
I was 5th lady and second F45
|1||00:35:53||Simon Heath||Senior Male|
|19||00:43:42||Katie Morgan||Haywards Heath Harriers||Senior Female|
|50||00:49:12||Nicola Morris||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||Female Vet 45|
The full results can be found on the Nice Work website. The mens races were won by a mix of men as they were not all doing the full marathon. The the first three ladies in all three races were the same – and they were also all three doing the full weekend so came 1-3 overall as well. First lady came 6th overall. I was 27th overall, 4th lady and second F45.
|02:48:31||Ciaran Forde||Horsforth Harriers||Senior Male|
|03:09:43||Katie Morgan||Haywards Heath Harriers||Senior Female|
|03:33:10||Nicola Morris||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||Female Vet 45|
Once again I really recommend this series of races – all less than an hour from Tun Wells. The sense of camaraderie amongst the runners who do all three is really great – and although the sun this year made the races even more challenging, it did make for a great weekend racing.