Marathon du Malton – Sunday 25th August 2019

Race Report by Debbie Simpson

With the hard winter months of training now a distant memory and the Strava creaking with the mileage from the Spring and Summer, it was time for only the bravest of the brave BMHH team to line up for the start of the Marathon du Malton.  This was the moment when all the hours of hard work and dedication would culminate in yet another outstanding BMHH performance.

The day of the race dawned bright & sunny – too bright and sunny for this arduous challenge of both mental and physical stamina.  The usual pre-race checks took place – trainers (check), socks (check), running watch (check), fancy dress outfit (whaaaaaaatt??!!).  Not a usual pre-requisite for a BMHH prestigious race but one where given the heat, a bad choice of outfit could seriously impact on race performance (as the writer found out when for some strange reason, unknown even to her, she decided to use the highlight of the racing calendar to run head to toe dressed as a pea-pod).

She wasn’t alone in her madness as once again Team BMHH stepped up to this phenomenal challenge of human endurance in a variety of mainly food and drink related outfits.  Picture the scene at the start – nerves jangling, itching to be off –  the usual race start other than the team vests were replaced by a carrot, a pineapple, two strawberries, a bottle of beer, a bunch of grapes, bacon and eggs and two fully grown lobsters (possibly crabs!!!) to name but a few!  A sight that would have brought fear even to Mo Farah had he been brave enough to take on the challenge.

Having baked in the open air in the exceptionally hot bank holiday weather (vegetables and fruit now wilting somewhat) it was time to line up at the start.  A nervous time at any race but the organisers had thought of everything and provided everyone with red wine to use as a toast before the gun went off.  Unfortunately, the writer didn’t get the memo and her wine somehow ‘evaporated’ before the toast was made …  

The intrepid runners approached the start line, fingers poised on watches, nerves quelled by the wine, and then they were off and on their way much to the amusement of both visitors and locals alike who were probably out for a quiet pootle around Malton.  

The term ‘Marathon’ was thankfully deceiving (especially in the heat) as this is a 10k race which takes you through some beautiful countryside & up to the gallops of the local racing stables.  The first and much anticipated stop came early in the race and disappointingly (for some) only had water.  Water?!  Undeterred though they soldiered on to the next few stops where the standard nutrition you find at all race events was waiting – roast beef and Yorkshire pudding (& veggie option).  

As if it was even possible, this fired up even greater enthusiasm and the team raced towards the next fuelling stations (in their various outfits) and tucked into a veritable feast of fayre including lobster, quiche, grouse & the most delicious macaroons ever tasted, all washed down by beer & gin!   Well, an army can’t march on an empty stomach now, can it?!  Now fed and fully hydrated, the team pressed on to the finish to a hero’s welcome and a free glass of beer.

Exhausted by this monumental effort, the team gathered in the square surrounded by bars, street food and ice cream to do their post-run stretching and refill their water bottles to rehydrate etc …. 

The day didn’t end there though with some particularly dedicated team members staying overnight for a race ‘debrief, reviewing their race strategy/performance etc.  If you want more information on the ‘debrief’ you’ll need to speak to them personally.

The Marathon du Malton is not for those of a shy disposition, but would the writer recommend it?  Heck, yes!  Fantastic event, well organised, fantastic marshals and atmosphere.  

Would the writer do it again dressed from head to toe as a pea pod?  Heck, no!!  The said item can now be found on a popular online selling site – hopefully, it will ap’pea’l to someone!

Race Results to follow soon 🙂

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