You know when something is not quite right, the forecast was crap, but the weather was not. Pace yourself this year, I told myself, but when Alan and I reached the first control in 4th & 5th place and left in 2nd and 3rd, I should have spotted that something was amiss! Never mind, it was a great day out, sunrise over Keppel’s Column accompanied Alan’s refrain of Hail Smiling Morn was memorable. The rain started by Rother Valley, drizzle at first, interspersed all day with rain of biblical proportions. The lads round the sidings near Catcliffe had been busy stripping copper cable, but no twoced cars or vans this year, however the loss of that was made up for by the raw sewage flowing across the footpath near Elsecar. The going was a bit sticky on the ploughed fields at times, but the tea and bun stops en-route and the soup and sarnies at Woodsetts made up for it. We met some likely lads in the woods near Maltby who were talking their Pit Bull terriers out for some exercise, but averting our eyes, we pulled our hoods close and made for the nearby township. Tape man had done a good job (in parts) ranging from 20 pieces in 100 yards to one piece in ~3 miles, we made it to Dun Street, Swinton then it went a bit TU. We asked a local where Dearne Valley College was and received the answer “It’s f***ing miles away” but we found it eventually with the help of a marshal’s wife out dog walking. Next year when we go for a pre race pint on the Friday night, we will recce the finish around Swinton canal. It may not sound a right larf, but it was good fun most of the time, the icing on the cake being the certificate and the white silver-anniversary polo shirt to everyone who finished. You’ll really wish you had run it when you see that shirt!
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