I hadn't planned to do another marathon in 2016 but at the end of November I was talking to Adam Holland, one of team 40-40-40 who had also won the RB Hull Marathon earlier in the year. Adam was organising one of his own events in Newark on Trent, where he lives. The event was a multi lap challenge of the Newark Showground - 2 days of 6 hours running time - or 8 laps of 3.28 miles if you wanted to complete a marathon. 10 days before the second day (the Sunday) I decided I'd enter. Unusually I'd been keeping my mileage up post Snowdonia whilst doing reccy's of the revised RB Hull Marathon course, so was in marathon ready state (apart from my trainers!).
Only being 70 miles from home, a handful of other Hullites were also running and I travelled down with the company of Stephen Baker - whom I'd met through Adam's "Walk for Peace" in 2015. The event was a small affair and, with no more than 100 runners permitted each day, and 60 taking part on the Sunday. There were options to do 1,2,4,8 or 8+ laps to get the medal. I had never done more than a 2 lap marathon course, so this was going to be mentally challenging. Even more so when I looked at the route map to realise it was very much squiggling about the showground and adjacent airfield, thus covering a lot of the route up and down etc. It was flat at least (though that is sometimes a disadvantage as you get no change to challenge your muscles).
At 9:00am we set off, with Adam leading the first lap to ensure we took the right course. With a small field, I found myself in the unknown territory of being near the front and close enough to actually go to the front for a minute or so! It didn't last (as expected) and Stephen took the lead and I dropped into third in the second mile. The first loop was complete in 24:06 - ahead of my usual 7:30 mins per mile target pace. I felt Ok and remained third. The 4th placed runner was on my tail and Stephen and the 2nd placed runner (Jon Ward) gradually eased ahead. When we hit the airfield each lap we had a bit of head wind as we ran north, with the temperature around 5-6°C. I was thankful I'd kept a hat on and two layers.
Pre event with, below, Zara and Lua, and Stepehn on right