I just love the races that the Phoenix running group organizes in the UK! The races have that family friendly feel. They welcome runners of various speed abilities and recognize the incredible achievements of its participants.
It’s a Numbers Game Marathon 2018 on October 7, 2018 was my third race with the group. We took the Eurostar from Brussels Midi train station to St. Pancras International train station on Saturday, October 6, 2018. From there, we walked over to the King’s Cross underground station to get on the Victoria metro for Vauxhall and switched to another train for Shepperton.
We got off at Walton-on-Thames the last time. This time we got off at Shepperton and found the station to be bigger than Walton. There was a taxi line right outside and a cab took us to The Weir Pub and Hotel for £10, much cheaper than the £20 they charged us from Walton-on-Thames!
The Saturday marathon and the 50-mile race were in progress when we arrived at the hotel. It was cold and raining and I was silently thanking my lucky stars I did not sign up for the Saturday race. The forecast for Sunday was good weather and I kept my fingers crossed that it was going to be accurate.
We already have our favorites at the pub on the ground floor of the hotel so we ordered our usual: Thai chicken curry, crab cakes, chicken burger, beer for Richard, and water for me.
We had the same room from our last stay. This time around, it was nice and comfy. We had a balcony that overlooked the River Thames and the race tent on the right.
We were up early to have breakfast before we made our way to the XCel Leisure Building to pick up the bib and attend the race briefing. The race director Rik Vercoe recognized several milestones and accomplishments of the runners such as the 100 marathons in 100 weeks, 52 marathons in 52 weeks achievements. Very inspiring to see all these runners get recognition for something they love!
We walked to the towpath and got ready for the race start at 9:30 AM.
The loop is approximately 5K so we had to do 8 loops to complete the course.
I rang the bell to signify completion of the race in 5:47. Richard and I took a group photo with the volunteers and the race director Rik Vercoe.
For £5, I was able to take a shower at the XCel Leisure Center. We took a taxi to the Shepperton Train Station and waited for the bus that took us direct to Heathrow International Airport to catch our flight to the Philippines.