Bethany Clague

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Training for JOGLE days 9 and 10


Saturday 14th November 2009


It was 1pm and I was soaking wet.  My feet were heavy with wet socks and trainers.  The pavements were flooded and the lorries driving along the busy A49 were creating walls of water which hit me full in the face.  It was torrential rain and all I could do was just to jog along praying the rain would stop.  I had been running since 5am and I was very tired.


5am had been very dark.  As I walked to Preston railway station with Ernie, leaving the warm hotel at 4.30am, I was feeling very fit and strong and looking forward to running somewhere new.  My right knee had given me a few problems recently so I was hoping it would be okay today.  At the station Rory was there with his car full of supplies and water.  Rob, David, Steve, Colin, Justin and Annette were all there - my fellow runners.  I dropped a bag in Rory's car full of spare clothes and glanced at my maps before setting off.  There were a few young people walking home from clubs but the roads were quiet.  We set off into the dark at 5am and I set my mind to running 50 miles to Tarporley in Cheshire. 


The first checkpoint was at 10 miles.  Rory told me to get running instead of talking.  I hardly spoke to Rory at any of the checkpoints, just picking up bananas, malt loaf and water.  The navigation was okay.  Wigan and Warrington were easy to negotiate.  After the second checkpoint it rained as I ran through Standish.  The dawn had broken at 7am allowing me to remove my 2 headtorches.  I was nice and warm in my 2 layers and my waterproof.  The miles went by quickly.  I tried to stick to running 11 minute miles and get 10 miles in every 2 hours.  I did the marathon in under 5 hours which pleased me.  Soon after I chatted to a local runner who was running 5 miles to pick up her car.  She was amazed when I told her I still had 25 miles to run. 


The rain stopped by 46 miles, thankfully.  However Rory had told me the hotel was signposted from the A49, but I could not see any signs.  I followed the google map Rory had produced and ended up outside the Portal Business Park.  I could see no hotel, but the golf course was there.  I phoned Ernie, who passed the phone to Rory.  In the end I got directions off a passing motorist.  I had run round the southern side of the golf course and the hotel was on the north west side.  After running through a flood i found the hotel.  I ran into Ernie's open arms.  I had run 51 miles in 9 hours 59 minutes.  I was delighted to be there by 3pm.  Rory and Jen were delighted.


I went for a bath and a sleep.  Five of us finished the run.  Justin pulled out at 40 miles with shin problems and Annette ran 30 miles.  Some of us ate in the expensive hotel that night and I was in bed by 8pm.


Sunday 15th November 2009


5am has come round very quickly - far too quickly for my tired body.  However all of us, except Annette who decided to stay in bed (!), left the hotel and ran along a very dark A49.  The weather would be better today - no rain except light showers - but it was a hard 49 miles to Church Stretton.   I navigated correctly to the A49 but David, Rob and Jen, who was running 20 miles with us, went the long way round and overtook us later.  At the first checkpoint I was just ahead of Justin and Colin.  I was thinking very negatively and Rory told me to think positive about what I could do and less about what I could not do.  Again the navigation was simple today.


By 12 miles I had caught up with Steve, who was just ahead of me yesterday.  Rob and David were miles ahead.  Steve is a really good guy and we worked together as a team for the rest of the way to the finish.  Steve ran slightly faster than me but walked more, so I managed just about to keep up with him.  Having someone to talk to relieved the boredom and the intrusive thoughts.


My sore knee disappeared after the first mile and I had no further leg problems.  I tried to eat at the checkpoints.  It was good to see Rory and Jen at 41 miles - only 8 miles left to go.  We finished the run at the station in Church Stretton.  Steve and I had taken 9 hours and 56 minutes.  I was delighted with the time again.  Ernie was pleased and drove me to our hotel in Ludlow for that night.  Rory and Jen were amazed by how well I had run over the weekend.  It was hard saying goodbye to Rory.  He is such an amazing guy and I would love to have him as my own personal coach! 


Ernie and I enjoyed a day in Wales as I recovered.  My back is slightly misaligned causing my shoulder to itch, but my legs are fine.  We travelled back on Tuesday to the Isle of Man on a bumpy boat.  It was a good few days.  I got to know some fellow JOGLERs better and also how difficult JOGLE will be.  However it will be light at 5am in May and hopefully the weather will be drier.


Bethany Clague

November 2009   


This site was last updated 18-Nov-2009

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