So in an attempt to do something a bit different and secure 1st and 3rd place respectively, Buzz and Woody…sorry Leyton Fleet and Richard Pegler embarked on a crazy notion to run the Gower Endurance Life Marathon. This race, nearer 29 miles than a full marathon, takes in Rhossili Down, Worms Head and Llangennith on grass, rock and sand and is described as “strenuous”. The course record, set in 2010, is 3:44:27.
Richard wrote: “A 5am leave got us to Rhossilli Village Hall in good time. Excitement took over when we discovered our names on our race numbers….fame at last. I tried to play it cool but then had to interupt a seasoned professional to take our pic as my attempts at a ‘selfy’ failed. We then got ready and tried to mingle with the weathered seasoned pros to steal a few ideas. I was dispatched to the race brief by the senior pro who went to meditate. Team plan was to go out steady 9 min miling and at 9am we were off……at 9.05am I waved good by to Buzz who was blatting up the first cliff at 7 min miling….race plan over. I settled into a steady pace alongside a lady who was preparing for a 70 mile run over monte blanc….I guess she liked long distance. “Whats your preferred distance” she asked over a jelly bean. “5k park run I replied, the cake’s great.” Conversation and jelly beans end. So in the words of forest gump ‘ we ran and we ran and we ran: up and up and up across cliff, moor, field and dune. At 17 mile we came off Oxwich beach, we didn’t hit a wall, we hit 300 steps dug out of the cliff…it was then i realised the reason your name was on your bib was so you could sit at the bottom sobbing broken and bemused and point when the locals took pitty on you and ask “whats your name son”. So we battled on hoping for some kind terrain and gentle roling down hill….it never came. Mile 26, 27, 28 passed. Mile 29: I can hear cheering i must be nearly there…no….down a cliff, through a gully, up a cliff…nearly over the cliff (not intentionally though the thought had crossed my mind earlier). I hobbled through the finish to be reunited with my pal and club mate. It was over. I didnt enjoy it because it hurt…alot. I am however so very proud of myself and amazed at what I accomplished. I guess I came about 60th in 5 hrs 37 mins including a slight detour. I must now be serious and pay tribute to Leyton, a great clubman and athlete who came in a superb 23rd in 4 hrs 55 mins, once again getting our club at the top of the results board…..and so it ends a fine year’s competition. Leyton gets the four points he needs to claim joint top of the champs with Jools: a fitting end to the ‘battle royale’ and his personal goal achieved. Fantastic run Leyt very well done and congrats to Jools too. If anybody would like to join me as a 5k specialist drop me message.”