22 March 2008

I couldn't see when it started snowing ...

I've been listening to some old Dylan material on my journeys to work recently: there's so much to those great mid-sixties electric pieces, such as "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)". And it provides me with an appropriate title for this posting ...

I had looked forward to the Compton Downland Challenge for two years, ever since I failed to get past 25 miles on my initial attempt at it. I failed to put in an advance entry this year (it didn't take place last year), but thought I might enter on the day. The weather forecast did not make running today sound like it would be much fun, though, and it doesn't take particularly bad weather to make the Berkshire Downs a bad place to be for three or more hours, although I never intended to try the "Full Fat 40" this year - the "Bare Bones 20" would have been enough, and indeed a good step up from the Banbury 15 the other week.

I was still entertaining the idea of entering on the day when the day dawned, and at first - as we lay in bed drinking coffee and tea - it looked as if it might be a reasonable day. But it started to snow before I'd have had to be on my way, and it showed little sign of letting up, which was enough for me. Through the day we have had hail, sleet and snow showers, and pretty constant high winds, with occasional sunny intervals, but I haven't felt too bad about sitting this one out.

Two marshalls were posted at the end of the road most of the day, as the race passes through the village at about 25 miles. I saw no runners, though. It is a great shame for the organisers, for whom I know it is a major exercise, and for the marshalls who had to stand around for long cold hours, but I do not wish to go down with pneumonia let alone suffer the discomfort of running about as far as I feel capable at the moment.

Next year, definitely.

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