Sunday, March 6, 2011

Leith Hill Half

The story of the toddler and the chicken.

The race started as any usual trionium race, after a stirring rendition of the National Anthem we were away into the hills of the Surrey countryside. With plenty of encouraging marshals and passers-by, along with some stunning views of the South Downs the first four miles flew by.

Having just run past the marshal at mile four I heard someone shout at me "go Clapham", turning around to see if I knew who it was a further shout of "watch out!" quickly followed, too late. As I tumbled over I soon noticed that I had just run over a little toddler [belonging to the nice marshal]! With both toddler and I in a heap in the sand I quickly picked myself up and attempted to dust the child down [being rather impressed that there had been no tears shed]; after some profuse apologies I was soon off again.

As an out and back course, I ran past the same marshal and toddler and mile nine; still feeling rather guilty I stopped to check that everything was okay - it turned out that the toddler was awarded an ice cream for being brave [I didn't point out that I didn't cry either!].

Onto mile 12 and as I reached the top of the final climb of the course, a chicken came out from nowhere squaking and flapping its wings at me. I decided to hurdle the angry bird which resulted, much to the amusement of a number of other runners, with the bird chasing and pecking my shoes for a further ten metres up the path.

So, after 13.1 miles, 3600ft+ of ascent and descent, some great views, a minor collision with a toddler, a race with an angry chicken and a fair amount of cramp I wobbled over the finished line in 2h07 - I'm already looking forward to next year!


- Well done to those of you doing Silverstone today as well, especially Hannah with a new PB!

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