by Dave Westerman
A brace of Pb's and a DNF
Saturday evening was spent having a very relaxed group meal with everyone that was staying down followed by a early night for our challenge on Sunday. 
Turn out was good with 8 runners for the 2 lap marathon including marathon virgin Mike Norton, and Steve Small making a rare road appearance! Steve Driscoll was running his first half. Expectations were high with everyone talking up the chance of a PB on a course I had described as pretty flat.......
With the marathon starting at 9 and the half at 10 we left Steve to his lie in and headed up to the start, picking up Martin and Mike on the way and meeting John, Rob and Mark for the pre race photo at the bag drop.
The first section of the race passed quickly as I bored Neal and Ben with where I had my first pint, where I went to college, used to live etc. Having floated up the first couple of hills of the day we headed towards our first pass through Southampton football clubs stadium before heading to the real challenge of the course the Itchen bridge which whilst giving a great view caused Martin to have a sweary outburst as we passed each other!
We'd already seen John coming flying back across the bridge and Ben, Neal and I passed Martin, Rob, Mark and Mike having turned around at the end of the bridge - at this point everyone was on track for their goals. We headed back into the city centre and started lap two, this was were things got a little more challenging as we picked up the back of the 10k and half marathon runners and John had a little bit of a navigation issue heading off onto the 10k route for a couple of miles his mind cloudy from the pain of the re-occuring blisters which lead to his DNF.
Lap two was much like lap one except hotter and the hills hurt more, especially the second trip over the bridge at 24 miles which caused unnecessary suffering to everyone.
Ben was first man home followed by me then Neal, giving Langport Runners our first entry in the team competition finishing 11th from 41, Martin, Mark and Mike were our second entry in the team competition finishing 18th.
Congratulations to Mike and Steve Driscoll for completing their first full and half marathons in cracking times, 4.12 and 1.47. Pb's for Ben, me, Martin, Mark, Rob, Steve Small in the marathon.
We finished the weekend as we started eating and drinking!
Milling about
Milling about beforehand.....
Group photo beforehand
The Magnificent Nine.
Happy racers.... apart from the guy hiding at the back! 😉