I don’t know why, but I rarely do races near home, so the Wickham Whistler, organised by On The Whistle was a nice change. However, beware when you think you have loads of time because you faff, try to be helpful at home, hang around and then have to rush to the start because you didn’t leave quite enough time….
The set up of the race is quite chilled (understatement), you start from a point on the old trainline (now converted into a nice path in the woods), you run 1.6 miles up it (very slight incline) to a sign and then run back! You do as many as laps as you want in 6 hours, no pressure, no expectations and lots of people turned up for that reason.
I’d agreed with Jo I would run with her, we would just have a natter and see what happens as she’d done Southampton the week before (she didn’t mention it much…) and me Brighton the week before that. This is Jo in the bluebells, am not entirely sure why the pose, maybe it was wind…:
On the running fun bus we very quickly recruited Aurelio (the Italian stallion or the Italian papa smurf – his title changed during the day), Bridget (who stopped after 4 laps – her quickest half marathon ever!!!) and then some other waifs and strays for a few laps, Mike, Danielle, a lady from Gosport and a chap from Portsmouth I think!!! We’re a broad church at the church of St Stefan the Slow
(That photo looks like I’ve got a massively long left arm!)
We just kept churning up and down but massive shout out to Bridget half pb, Danielle going further than she’s ever gone before, Mike going very very long despite a belly full of burgers from the day before and Aurelio for putting up with Jo and I ! Oh and Simon on marathon 60 odd in his quest for the 100 marathon club doing 100 different marathons!!!
Once you do the 5th lap you may as well do 8 so we did! We passed the time by supporting/abusing other runners we ran past (to be clear we didn’t pass anyone but on an out and back course you cross a lot)! Matt Bowers and Gav (legends in our lifetime training for a 250 mile run) we saw a lot as they were covering serious ground. In a momentous sprint finish after a titanic struggle we understand Gav pipped Matt on the line by one second! Well at least that’s how we heard it!
Shout outs to Mark, Will, Becky, Cat, Paul, Cliff and whoever else I’ve forgotten from the Hedgies that helped us pass the time
Anyway, 8 laps done, lovely day with lovely company, Jo talks more than me and Aurelio is what I want to be when I grow up as he’s so nice! Without them I would have gone home after 4 for some lunch as the course is pretty boring after you’ve been up and down a few times (nice snacks at the aid station though). Nice medal and saw some nice people.
You know that seed has been planted now for the church of St Stefan the Slow….. lets see where that ends up!!! Maybe a kind of cult where people bring me beer as an offering….