Bethany Clague

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What a Year





What a year I have had - 15 consecutive PB’s between November 2nd 2007 and June 4th 2008!  There is more as well:


The Thames Path 50 Ultra on January 19th saw me finish my first ultra.  Okay, it was more “ultrawading” than ultrarunning, but the achievement of reaching the hotel finish was amazing.


The Fireman’s Walk on April 6th was wonderful; resulting in a 3rd lady finish, in a time I had only dreamt about and did not feel was realistic.  My friend Ernie began to learn how to support me, ignoring my sharp comments at low moments.


A week later I achieved my dream of running the London Marathon.  Nigel Armstrong, my dentist, not only told me off for not ‘tapering’ but proceeded to extract a wisdom tooth five days before the race.  He passed me going the opposite direction 9 miles ahead of me, although the parrot on my shoulder slowed me down – at least that was my excuse!  However I achieved a PB despite ‘Percy’, a pirate costume with Manx flag that took out people’s eyes behind me, and torrential rain!  Watching the London Marathon on TV in 2004 had inspired me to start running, so it was a very emotional moment as I crossed the finish line.


The 20k racewalk in Andreas on the 11th May was stunning.  Okay – I was the only lady in the race to finish, so winning the cup was a bit embarrassing, especially considering how tough the men’s race was.  However, as an athlete who never won anything at school, to win a cup was an amazing feeling!


The Double Parish Walk – I’m not going to say anything except a big “thankyou” to everyone who supported me.  I still cannot believe the response it evoked in people.  The whole weekend still seems like a dream and I feel very proud to have done it.  The £5,800 raised and the publicity for the Chamber was well worth the extreme tiredness I endured.  The hallucinations I can still vividly remember as I struggled to walk the final 25 miles!


The End To End walk – what can I say.  I know several walkers have said I should not have walked it, but my finishing time and PB was tremendous, and finishing 3rd lady was a dream come true.  However, if I can stabilise my blood sugar levels, I know I can go faster.  Watch this space…..


The Western 10 Julie Brew Memorial Race was another achievement.  I felt tired and the early shin splints did not help.  However the “switchback” proved beneficial and I finished 4th lady.  Again watch this space…..


On Saturday11th October I ran with a few UK ultrarunners along the Grantham Canal to Nottingham.  This 32-mile ‘fun run’ was taken at an easy pace so we could chat along the way.  Several runners I have met previously at ultra’s took part.  I realised running is very different to walking, and I have not run much since London.  I struggled for 25 miles and then sprinted the final few miles!  Again, I had a job keeping my blood sugar levels up.  I did enjoy the run between 9 and 14 miles when I set the pace racewalking while the 11 runners were running behind me!  They were amazed at how fast I could walk!


I hope to qualify for the walking league with the 5k racewalk.  I have done 6 running races for the running league but am too tired to run (or walk) the Syd Quirk.  I am looking forward to a few months off to recharge my batteries and put glycogen back in my muscles. 


The icing on the cake has to be winning the ‘Pride in Mann Local Hero Award’.  I feel so proud and happy to have won it and humbled by everyone who voted for me.  It has been an amazing year and I will struggle to better it.  What will happen next year, again, watch this space, as Bethany is coming……                        



by Bethany Clague (October 2008)









This site was last updated 19-Oct-2008

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