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Some intrepid SJs had to have their Patronus ready to avoid the Dementors when taking part in the Runner of Azkaban!

The Runner of Azkaban was the latest in the series of Saturn Events which are based on a popular format of performing multiple laps to run distances from 5K up to ultra-marathon distance. A number of members took part over varying distances and Michelle Wilson and Tina Jæger Acock are here to tell us about it….

First up we have Michelle Wilson who tackled this Saturn Event half marathon at Greenham Common and here is her story!

On Sunday I lined up with nearly 200 other runners in bright sunshine…and -2 degrees! It was my 13th Saturn Run and I was aiming to complete my 22nd half marathon. For those who haven’t heard of Saturn Running, they put on are really great events for all abilities, that are based on a lap concept. There is a 7 hour time limit in which runners complete as many laps of the 3.2 mile course as they can or want to. (The laps today at Greenham Common were slightly longer, so 3 laps were enough to get a half marathon distance.)

I really enjoy the lap format, although it isn’t everybody’s cup of tea! I like being able to count down the laps and tick them off in my head making the end seem quicker!

Saturn Running is also well known for the fabulous aid table that marks the start and finish of each lap. Runners stop for a chat and a snack (of fruit, nuts, sweets, pretzels, crisps, jelly beans, watermelon, energy gels…) before setting off on their next lap.

Leon overseeing the aid station
Susan Plumb enjoying Greenham Common

Today’s run was the next run in the Harry Potter series. “The Runner of Azkaban” saw a good SJ group, including Susan Plumb, Tina Jaeger Acock, Martin Gould, Lance King, with Leon Hicks marking out the course and keeping a watchful eye on the aid table! If you think that laps without a time pressure would work for you, have a look at their website…there is a great Queen inspired medal for the Bohemian Run in February!

Thank you Michelle and I appreciate you sharing that with us especially about the lap format and hope you warmed up quickly! It looked like a glorious day to be out there.

Next up we have Tina Jæger Acock who took on the Marathon distance..

Please find my write up as follows: (I lied, it was my marathon # 38!) I had booked this marathon sometime in November and was running this together with Lance King.

It was a VERY cold morning on the 19th January when I parked up at the Greenham Common Control Tower and picked my race number up at 9am.

Chilly looking control tower @ Greenham

I was met by Charlotte McDonough the event organiser, who gave me my number. I was baffled that I had been given 167 instead of my usual # 1 (it’s an alphabetic thing!) but I was assured that George thought I needed a change 🙂 This is the 3rd time I have done a marathon around Greenham Common.

Race briefing at 9.20 and we set off at 9.30. The first 20 min was painfully cold, but we persevered. The nice thing on Saturn Runs is that people are so encouraging and helpful and there is always a smile from fellow runners.

This course was 2 loops x 6 – (for us doing the marathon it was 3 pink loops and 3 blue loops)

About 2 loops in and I am telling Lance that I don’t think I can do this. I had not run a marathon since November and just a 6 miler in December, so not the best training for another marathon.  But we have been there before, so now it is all about get to halfway, then get to 20 miles, then count down to parkrun…then finish.

Walk, then run to a designated tree or bush, walk a bit, then run again. But you look around you, enjoy the scenery, enjoy the nature and laugh at the cows trying to hide in the bushes and everyone out and about with dogs, kids and bikes. The sun was out all day even though it remained freezing cold all day.

We finished as we had been all day, together. Lance is after all my running husband 🙂

I try and enjoy every marathon as much as possible, I want make the journey to the 100 an adventure. I am not about the speed, but more about getting through them and having fun.

Thanks Tina, I appreciate the comment too that it was not the perfect event for you personally but that it is not about being perfect when doing a marathon. Good luck on your journey to the 100!

A big thank you also to Leon Hicks for his ongoing support in these events, so good to see our members out there making things happen 🙂

Not sure about anyone else who has never tried one of these events but they certainly seem to be a great way to get into doing longer distances!

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