For 235 runners it was their moment in the spotlight at yesrerday's Broadway Marathon and Half Marathon (Sunday, 19 November). And there were plenty of mud and hills to provide entertainment.
Rain a couple of days beforehand meant soggy, slippery conditions underfoot in the scenic Northern Cotswolds. With a choice of a marathon or a half, the runners went on a tour of the surrounding countryside that included the Vale of Evesham and Winchcombe before heading back towards Broadway village.
Both races were mainly off-road although there were a few road sections that were under water. The organisers, Cotswold Running had chalked arrows on the ground although the monsoon conditions put paid to these. However, there were sufficient markers in place. Entrants were advised to study the route prior to the event and to carry the mandatory kit as stated due to the location and changeable weather.
Neil Wicks was the star of the marathon, winning in 3:21:26 and over eight minutes ahead of Marcus Mumford who was second in 3:29:40. Callum Duffy was third in 3:32:08.
Rachel Masser was the fastest woman in 3:57:14 ahead of Bethan Gwynn (4:11:04) and Melissa Venables (4:12:18).
Mike Crompton was the first runner home in the half marathon, crossing the line in 1:34:48. Tim Hutchinson was second in 1:36:56 followed by Mike Andrews in 1:37:20.
Sheila Lammas was the first female in 1:56:40 with Zoe Shepherd second in 2:04:29. Jenny Hitchcott finished third in 2:11:32.
It was a tough event but a showstopper for many runners who gave positive reviews about the organisation, marshalling and location.