I've made the fatal error of not putting the listings for this lovely event in November up soon enough on RW. Should have done it months ago, only just realised.
As a result, I still have lots of lovely places for anyone who wants to run one, or two, fun little marathons in the East Midlands.
It's a friendly little event, and there's a relay on Saturday and a Half marathon on Sunday for those who fancy a run with friends but can't manage the whole 26.2 miles.
Every penny received in entry fees goes straight back out in organising the race, so the feeding table is well stocked and there's a nice medal. Entries now are paying for an improved goodybag, but everyone who enters the marathon will get beer if they want it or an alternative if they don't.
Looks like the coastal path's being a bit of a blighter. Charlotte had to turn back and retrace her steps at one point when only a couple of miles from meeting me in Immingham because the path had been closed without any kind of advanced warning. This put her well over her anticipated mileage, and due to the other problems down the line we were about an hour behind schedule. Because I decided to run the last few miles of her leg with her we were able to arrange the handover slightly earlier. I got hold of Barry officially, therefore, outside Lindsey Oil Refinery in South Killingholme.
Now, Immingham is not the most inspiring of locations, and due to the closure of the North Wall we were inland slightly, so Barry got taken between the refinery and the docks, along the side of the A160, the major freight artery to Britain's biggest deep-water container port, and past one of North East Lincolnshire's finest Community Recycling Facilites before we were finally able to hit the path along the side of the Humber again.
The benefit of this stretch is that it is pancake flat. However, it is leg-sappingly concrete and the wind was unhelpfully easterly. Still, this was marathon training for me, so I made my way along the North Wall at just under 8 minutes per mile. Constantly reasuring me in the distance were the twin Grimsby landmarks of the Dock Tower and the Tioxide Chimney. Gradually there was evidence of other people, a couple out cycling, a few fishermen, but mostly it was just me and Barry and the Humber estuary.
Gradually the landmarks passed. The Stallingborough power station came and went, then it was the food factories at Europarc. Finally I was on the sea wall behind Norvartis Chemical works, which I remembered from an old race that used to be run round there. I was struggling with the pace a little because of the wind and tired legs from this morning's bike ride, but was able to keep going.
Finally, I hit the A180 Westway into Grimsby. Spotted the buildings of the town centre and made it over the bridge, ten minutes earlier than my rearranged 4pm arrival, to meet Stu and send barry on his way.
Stu's taking Barry to Saltfleet today, so he'll be ahead of schedule when he arrives. It's been a long old day for him and he needs a rest...