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All right in the long run

The London Marathon polarises opinions. When Lyneham’s Mark Jessey and Milton’s Adam Smith took part in April’s race, watchers’ views would fill a book. Were they mad? Why were they doing it? They must be fit. Wouldn’t catch me doing that. Call that enjoyment? That’s one way of getting legless.

But beyond this confusion of opinions, a race was being held; Mark and Adam were in for the long run. Our two heroes (just another opinion), and Adam’s wife, Cath, gave their accounts of the lead-up, the race and the aftermath.

marathon2Cath: “Adam The Gnomerunner was in training. What did he look like – a bird, a plane? Not content with having run a double London marathon last year, as well as the Snowdonia marathon – strapline: 26 miles of agony and ecstasy, Adam was setting out to break the world record for the World’s Fastest Mythical Creature. To do this, he would have to break the four hour barrier wearing a heavy toadstool, braces, a gnome hat and carrying fishing rod, fish and pipe. It will all be for a great cause: Muscular Dystrophy UK for which he has already raised £18,000. This cause means a great deal to Adam, as both his mum and his uncle died with MD and Douglas, his brother, is wheelchair bound with the disease.”

Adam’s plans were blown out of the water by temperatures that rose into the low twenties; finishing would be a challenge inside that costume. Mark, dressed more soberly, takes up the story of his own race.

Mark: “Liberally smothered in Factor 50, I eagerly awaited the starting gun. I really enjoyed the first 8/9 miles. The huge crowds carried us along with their support. By mile ten, the heat was beginning to affect me. My four and a half hour target was disappearing down the road. The last 15 miles were a hard grind, the heat becoming intense. Showers were set up every couple of miles and everyone was making good use of the water stations to take up fluids and douse themselves in cooling water. Along markjesseymarathonawvThe Embankment, the support was amazing and the noise immense; it just seemed to carry you along no matter how much pain you were in. After 5 hours, 22 minutes and 22 seconds it was all over. But after all this torture, I had raised not far short of £1,000 for Mind, a charity that is dear to my heart.”

The final words belong to Adam, the sweaty and wiped out Gnomerunner.

Adam: “I can think of several words for ‘exhausted’ but The Wychwood would not print them! Even a week later I felt thoroughly jaded. The heat did for me and I finished just outside five hours. But it was worth it: another £5,000 raised for the charity. I was just pleased to get round and delighted to raise so much money, but I’ll never do it in costume again!”

Do we believe him??

June – July 2018