Manx Mountain Marathon. A fantastic event and a truely memorable day. I'd failed to prepare, so I was prepared to fail. If I'm honest, it was a bit of a surprise that I got as far as I did before the wheels fell off. Up to South Barrule it had been a brilliant day to be on the hills. After then it became a brilliant day to be sitting down somewhere. When my backside did eventually hit the grass, I looked down over a sparkling Port Erin, and with a lump of fruitcake in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other, reflected on my luck. To live here: to be healthy: to have beaten Allan Thompson.
When I last did the MMM, it was my favourite local event and I was desperate to do it again. That was 1985, and as my walking career was kicking off, Mountain Marathons didn't really fit into my annual plans. Now that my walking career has reached full time (deep into injury time anyway), you may have noticed that I don't have an annual plan. As in last year's Parish, I learnt a great deal from the race and will hopefully be able to remember some of it for an improved race in 2008.
The organisation was superb - drinks galore, loads of marshals and 'computerised' timing at every checkpoint (the read-out of 100+ runner's split times is truely mind-boggling - see the link on Murray's homepage)! Last year I did the Easter Athletics Festival - another wonderful event. Two big, nationally recognised events organised by separate groups on the same tiny Island on the same weekend. Both are excellently marshalled and cater for upwards of 300 visitors. An amazing feat. Also it's surely the ultimate local fixture clash - either would undoubtedly be bigger if it was a lone Easter event.
Now that the MMM is out of my system (though not my legs), I can start concentrating on doing some walking. Just as soon as my blisters heal.