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Not for the first time it struck me how many people are involved in your race experience. I know running is a solitary pursuit at the majority of time and racing is an event where you concentrate solely on yourself, but in actual fact there is so much more to it.So, while perfectly aware that I’m bound to forget some people, the following have had a real, positive effect on last Saturday.Julian, for giving me a lift, which saved me from having to rent a car for the day, with the expense and hassle that comes with that.Anto, for putting the show on the road 10 years ago and he has given it a personal touch that may rub some off wrongly but is highly appreciated by most.All the volunteers who gave out numbers, put up tents, tables, chairs, finishing gantry and then spent hours handing out drinks, giving encouragement and so on. But out of all of them particularity Sharon, with her lovely smile making the pain of each lap melt away instantaneously.Alex, Alistair and Tim, top 10 runners who all had time to shout out some encouragement while lapping me like I was standing still.All the other runners who did the same, at a slightly slower pace but still fast enough to lap me at least once and still make a nice comment. Ray, Brian, Charlotte, Susan, Ger, Dave, … Good to see you, I wish I could have joined you rather than see you pass by.Gary and Ollie, great pacers, top job.Anne, while I had hoped not to see her at all out on the course, but thanks a mill for handing me that bottle full of coke when she saw I was struggling. It didn’t help, but you know, I very much appreciate the kindness.And so on. If I didn’t mention you, I apologise. I just realised there are way more people involved than even I thought.Any muscles that are not my calves felt perfectly fine afterwards. Well, maybe the hamstrings were a bit heavier than normal the next day, but otherwise there was just nothing.My calves, however, were really sore, even 5 days after the race they were still not right. I can’t remember ever having such a long time with acutely sore muscles. to be honest, it kind of puts me off running – it’s the thing about the weakest link in the chain again; if the weakest link is so much weaker than the rest, that sucks. Maybe some specific strength training might help, though I am a bit skeptical about that one.I’ll see. I’m signed up for some more races already, so I’m sure I’ll do them as well. It wouldn’t be me to just throw in the towel.

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