Meon Valley Plod 2013 21M

1 week to go and the course is looking “wonderful” this morning

There will however be problems for spectators attempting to park up around the course .

I have maps for spectators and intend to give a Spectator” briefing at 10;00  to advise best places to go and some you will need to avoid.

Please ask your backup to attend

With numbers up this year Car sharing is essential to a void the “park and ride”  1.5M away .

Those who will be spectating out on the course please do not use  race parking but use the Temporary car park in the Rising Sun pub 400m away so long as its not used when open after 11:30  unless eating or drinking there.   The food there is excellent.


alan     /forum/smilies/tongue_out_smiley.gif[/img]]    07976 426247


  • I just wish to say how fantastic the marshalls were yesterday in those awful conditions. All of us runners could have packed up and gone home but the marshalls had to stand there relentlessly waiting for us. Despite how cold they were they still offered smiles and cakes. WELL DONE!!!!!! Im in awe of you guys I had the easy bit


  • I second that - the ginger and chocolate cake is what got me round to the finish! I was cold running, let alone standing around for hours on end

  • I have never seen so many people drop out of a race, the conditions were horrendous. Well done marshalls for braving the elements and making sure everyone stayed safe. I  have never quit a race before but at mile 11 (when I couldnt feel my toes or hands) I just simply couldnt take any more. I am a seasoned cross country marathon runner so I am used to this sort of terrain, but when I started to shake I had to call it quits !! Well done to everyone that finished they truly deserved their medals, this was my favourite race last year, this years memories not so good. My only complaint/suggestion would be that due to the conditions getting prgressively worse, and the number of people not able to finish (or indeed finishing but in a very bad way) maybe a shorter route should/could have been organised about half way for those people willing to take it, that way people could carry on to finish the 21 miles, or maybe opt for a 15 mile version and still get a medal. I will no doubt enter again next year but this year I remain still cold and medal-less ha ha 

  • i shall comment more later once i manage to get some neglected work done today .  ( real life can be a pain - roll on April 2014  and  retirement  image

    thanks for the lovely comments here and twitter @meonvalleyplod . i'll pass onto my awesome marshals.. 

    Andy  , there was an option to cut off 2m but it was only at the 14m point and too late for those suffering earlier.

    well done to all even those forced to retire  , you're all heroes in the worst weather we had since 1997

  • Well done to all those who attempted the run yesterday. I’ve been taking photos at this event for the past few years and conditions was the worst I’ve seen. The camera like the runners did not like the conditions and began to have a lot of problems while i was trying to take photos at the 17 mile point. At this point I’ve never seen so many exhausted runners.   

    As usually I’ve uploaded the photos to my website

    If you would like a FREE full size digital image(s), please follow the instructions on the site.

    That’s 2 years of bad weather..... next year can’t be worse.... 


  • Please can I second the comments above about the marshalls. You were all absolutely amazing. I was freezing cold running so you maust have all been frozen, but were all still offering smiles and encouragement. Thankyou thankyou thankyou.

  • Heartfelt thanks to the massive team of marshalls supporting and encouraging in the foulest of conditions. Your time and support was greatly appreciated.

    A well marked course with the weather helping to make the terrain wildly variable. A big thanks to all involved in making it happen.

  • Thanks too for the marshalls from me, you did an amazing job in trying conditions, the fruit cake on the way round was excellant!! I finished the course and will be back next year!!

  • My first time - what an introduction! I gave up (around 14 miles, not counting the slipping and sliding off course) when I couldn't feel my feet and my hands weren't much better. This was after wading along an impromptu river and then shivering uncontrollably when I stopped for sustenance. Other than that I felt I could probably have finished. I fear I have unfinished business so will have to return, with even more waterproof kit and a full change of clothes for the finish.

    I would also like to thank all the marshalls, radio operators, refreshment providers and rescue drivers! Many of them were also out in the wind and rain for a long time.

  • Has anybody got a gpx file of the course they'd be willing to share ?

  • What a day out! Big hand for the organisers, marshals, photographers, radio folk, spectators & others who braved the weather and turned out. Not so great was the number of runners who went out woefully unprepared for the conditions - whether it was overconfidence, bravado or just stupidity. No matter how hard, or fast, you are you're not going to last long in shorts & short sleeved running vest! Going out in road shoes was another stoke of genius!  Rant over - will have a long think before entering next year!!   


  • I too have to lavish huge praise on the marshals and organisers. Extreme cold and frozen joints forced me to stop at 12 miles. The people there were so kind- from the marshal who let me deposit my sodden, muddy body inside his nice clean car to the lovely lady  in the red landrover who'd come out to support her husband and found herself taxi-ing shivering runners back to Clanfield! I am in awe of all who finished. I've completed the Grizzly 4 times but the Plod got me! I'll be back again though - when I've warmed up!

  • I'd echo everyone for their thanks to the marshalls.  It was hell out there, I was frozen but I was running to keep warm so it must have been worse for the marshalls.  Every single one, of which there were many, were friendly, attentive and helpful despite the conditions.  A lasting memory of a forgetful day!  Thank you again.

  • I was so happy to get to the finish line yesterday, that was one tough plod! I want to add my personal thanks to all the volunteers who made yesterday possible. At least I was running (and walking and even wading at some points!) to keep myself warm. And wonderful encouragement from everyone along the route - even spectators were out on the course (how mad is that!?!?). Will be back next year as the conditions surely can never ever be worse than yesterday? ...


  • Absolutely brilliant from all involved. I don't blame any who pulled out and must say i considered it at points myself! Such a challenge and an amazing course. Well done, Alan, that was really amazingly put together. Brilliant marshalling and organisation - even if you have seemed to pick all the hills in the area!

  • My first ever plod and in fact my second ever cross country run (the first being the Stansted Slog) and it was a cold, wet baptism of fire!

    There were sections of the course that reminded me of water stages on 'Kick Start', I half expected Dougie Lampkin to come past me on a 2-stroke on occasion, but I could have just been tripping out a bit at times!

    Huge thanks goes out to the organisers and the marshals, even though I had problems picking up the cake at 14 and 18 due to somewhat cold hands, when I eventually managed it the sustinance kept me going. The cake was spectacular.

    Big thanks also has to go to Alan Dunk of Denmead Photo's, who turns out at all these events, whatever the weather, takes pictures and provides them free for all to cherish, top fella.

  • My first Plod too! 50+ marathons but not one compares to this in terms of cold, fatigue, mud, water and the incredible support and encouragement of the marshalls! The cup of tea at the last refuelling station was like the nectar of the Gods!

    It's days like this that make you proud of yourself and even more proud of the race organisers! Thank you soo much for sticking it out to the end for us!

  • Forgot to add in my earlier post that this was my first ever cross country run and furthest event I've competed in so far, don't think I'd fear anything from now on!! I will definitely be back to take it on again next year!! 

  • Firstly a massive thank you to the marshalls who were amazing....This was my first plod and without any question is the hardest race I have ever done. When I became completely numb running through the makeshift rivers it just became a blur!! Once again a big thank you to everyone involved.

  • My first plod and ditto the thanks to marshalls. Coffee at 18 was probably the best I've ever had and at that stage you'd been out over 5 hours which is an act of heroism. Thank you.

  • Saturday 9th Feb 8. a.m.   6 of us at  Clanfield Scout hut for course marking .  Weekend forecast was for a  mostly dry Saturday with heavy  rain overnight and Sunday  until  around noon. 

    By 08:30  it was snowing heavy enough to lay on high ground,,  perhaps a warning of things to come , by noon it was dry but with extreme temperature variations around the course. Even carrying mallets , stakes ,signs and wrapped up appropriately we were all getting cold in places. Last minute entrants texting and emailing despite the weather forecast were being  taken while still  around the course.   

    4pm  we were  back at the Scout hut discussing the fact the course seemed relatively dry underfoot compared to previous years and the amount of rain  during the past few weeks. 

    Home around 8pm to help finish the food packs cut up by Bernice ( joint race director for 2014) and Mike.  Update the computer with last minute entries.

    Sunday 06:00 and just light rain outside. Last check on the weather indicates rain most of the day and very cold.

    10:30  and rain didn’t appear too bad at the start , cold standing around but should be ok for the runners.

    10:50 and David comes back from marshalling the 1m point top of the first climb soaked from the waist down ( waterproof trousers as well David !! )  saying the  rain very hard and horizontal.

    Around 12:30 and first of the days messages from Raynet to say 5 needed collecting from 10m cold and exhausted.   Drove to the checkpoint to find rivers running off the hills covering the road.  5 very tired and cold souls returned to the finish.  Within minutes further reports of numerous runners dropping out between 10m  to 14m  in a poor way . 

    With the help of some spectators and 5 event vehicles we rescued around 65 -70 who were forced to retire.  Allegations I had 9 plus a dog in my 7 seater at one point are untrue “your honour”. 

    three trips to collect retirements and each time I went out the lakes and rivers where there had been roads got worse. 

    The marshals at one feed station were standing in about 6” of a river instead of a road handing out supplies.

    Certainly the worst weather conditions for this event since 1997 when half the field retired at 5m  due to freezing rain and snow  together with the fact they had all gone out in vests and shorts.

    It was sad to see quite so many forced to retire but this was designed back in 1995 to be a severe challenge at this time of year and it continues to be so.   Even some very experienced trail runners were caught out but hopefully they will come back better prepared for possible similar conditions and complete the challenge.

    In those conditions even getting to around half way was a considerable achievement. Well done to all of you.

    The kind thoughts you all sent to the marshals has been welcomed and as merely the organiser I agree that is where the credit is due for making the event possible even in these extreme conditions.

    See you  9th Feb 2014  

    Rgds   alan "   /forum/smilies/ ]   "      twitter @meonvalleyplod




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