Sunday 8th April 2018 – Full Marathon / Half Marathon / 10km / Fun Run

Venue – Maltings Meadow, Nr Bungay, Suffollk NR35 2RT

I was pleased, having opened my curtains on Sunday morning, to a drizzly cool day.  I knew that hanging around waiting for the start may be a little chilly but the temperature and the greyness would only bode well.  It started with a road trip – Racheal Cole, Ruthie Roo, Charlotte Reed and I set at 08.30, knowing that the race would start at 11am, but giving ourselves good time to park, register and enjoy the atmosphere.

Getting to Bungay took less time than expected.  As we entered Bungay it was clear that there was an abundance of marshalls and signage for both the car parks and the start line.

The 10k was starting and we saw a couple of jags including Nicola Lambert John starting off (more about her later!).  We registered, it was a bit muddy by then, but nothing too worrying. Registration was straightforward, and there were ample stewards telling us what to do, and where to go, if we needed anything.  The only fiddly bit was the chip timer. Nicola finished the 10k shouting ‘it’s difficult’, which made me worry a little. She immediately put me at my ease by explaining that she meant was it had been difficult for her to hold back, on the 10k, because she had entered the double doggy (both the 10k and the half marathon).  

As we started some of the later 10k runners came in, and there was a lot of cheering (don’t we love our running community), and also the marathon runners were going around again from the start position.  

From the off I had decided to do my own pace, this being my first half in 3 years, and not being as fit as I once was.  I snuggled down at the back of the pack determined not to be pushed along because I have been out of action due to injury – my run was all about getting round!  Racheal soon left me behind which was absolutely fine with me. She has been amazingly supportive in my journey to running a half and I didn’t want to hold anyone back. A slight incline into the centre of Bungay and then out on the road towards Mettingham.  We were talking in the car earlier and that we all thought the route was going to be hilly. The first 6 miles was definitely undulating but not undoable. There were no real steep hills, more slow inclines which, if taken easily didn’t prove to be difficult.

There are some beautiful houses on the route and lovely scenery.  The route took us round on the main road from Bungay to Beccles. There were ample first aid points, water points and stewards.  The road wasn’t closed so we were busily running along with cars whizzing past which I found slightly daunting and had to keep an eye over my shoulder.

There was lots of signage along the route and you could hardly go wrong (although I managed it … I was told to go left at Beccles and carried on over the turning….) Which caused much merriment with the marshalls.  It could only happen to me!

Once you dropped down to the broad at Beccles it was a lovely flat route … because the full marathon signage was close to the half marathon it was easy to pick off the miles.  The water stations were well stewarded and everyone was encouraging ‘go jaguar you’re doing brilliantly’. The last 2 miles was on a muddy pathway but the 9km sign loomed (it was the same final leg as the 10k)  and I knew I wanted to finish before 2hours 30 minutes (my goal). It was then easy to do a bit of a sprint finish with lots of lovely cheering to spur me on, on the home straight.

The medal is lovely and hefty (exactly what I like).  The goody bag was a bag of crisps, an energy bar and a bottle of water.  There were so many marshals, so many friendly encouraging faces and so much enthusiasm for the runners I would definitely recommend this route.

Nicola Lambert John was an absolute inspiration winning the first female in the Double Doggy …. Lovely person inside and out and a real inspiration.

The Bungay Black Dog Running Club did themselves proud and it is a brilliant event, with lots of encouragement – let’s see more Jags there next year!

Fiona O’Hara

Bungay 1

Bungay 3

RUTH PILCH1:52:09167
VIKKI HARPER1:54:24186
RACHAEL COLE2:12:29329
FIONA O'HARA2:26:01385
1/2 MARTHON +10K