Number two

A week on from running my second marathon in Cambridge, I’m still struck by the fact that it was pretty much the complete opposite of the Disney World marathon. In fact, Disney was possibly the least typical example of what marathon running, or indeed any regular running competition, or indeed the world, is like normally.

There were about 400 entrants, no giant mouse, lots of cross-country and it rained. The whole. Way. Round. It rained for so long that the arrows showing the route fell off the trees and I made several wrong turns. It turned the cross-country sections into bogs and found me standing in a field, not another soul to be seen, hysterically shouting at the sky. It started to snow as I crossed the finish line. In short, it was not Florida.

Still, I learned a lot more about running, namely:

  • Always bring some waterproofs, even if it only ‘might’ rain. Because it ‘might’ then rain for the whole run and you ‘might’ have to keep stopping to pull up your shorts because they had become so waterlogged they were slipping down your arse.
  • If its raining, put your MP3 player in a plastic bag to try and save it from the water so that it doesn’t die halfway through and leave you with only the sound of your own whimpering to keep you company during the toughest parts of the race.
  • I should run a bit slower for the first half, because running a first half of 2hours 10mins and a second half of 3 hours 9mins – even accounting for wrong turns and slowing of pace due to weather-based despair – implies I’m not really pacing myself properly.

It all gets a bit serious from now on as I’ll now be doing two marathons a month till June. Still, the weather’s improving, so it can’t get any worse, right?


Anyway, here’s some footage, which should really have the title ‘The Misery of Zoe Fletcher’ as she valiantly tried to find me to cheer me on, but effectively spent most of the day trudging round the oustskirts of Cambridge in the rain. I am truly nothing without her.

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