So started at 8am, two hours before the official kick off time. Found deciding where to put up signs; trying to be discreet in towns; stressing about runners not seeing my markers; sometimes being plain comically incompetent; and the occasional justifying myself to enquiring resident locals - wasted lots of time. I was the "new girl" in a job. My first sign took me 10 minutes to do with a lack of experience in threading cable ties. I discovered one side of the cable ties do not thread. Thought they were duds initially!!! Sent a text to the RD that had only reached the ferry point at about 10:00am. 10:00am was also when the race started, the time when the RD would be sending the runners on their way! It had taken took me 2 hours to do less than 5 miles and the runners were about 10 miles away.
At 11:00 am tried calling RD to let him know I was slow but phone told me that "calls to the number were barred!" Text didn't complain so sent him another text.
At 1:00 pm began to be overtaken by runners at Windsor! Asked the Windsor checkpoint to let the RD know I was slow. Was stressed about being overtaken by runners. So no breaks just kept on going. Gave my water to another runner at Dorney Lakes; told off by a local resident who I just politely agreed with and carried on; requested some water from Cookham checkpoint who told me to get my own water who later relented when I said I was their official marker; yelled at by another runner who thought I was taking down the markers who apologised immediately when I told him I was their official marker. At the end of my marking stint at Marlow (about 6pm) directed one runner the wrong way when he asked me if the route was over the bridge and I said I think so - the Thames Valley sign is pointing that way! Only realised 10 minutes later that I had directed him the wrong way....opps.....decided to wait for him as had no idea which direction he had taken after the bridge. He came back later and told me off for wasting 20 minutes of his time. Apologetic, after all I did empathise with his frustrations, I redirected him to where he should have gone.
I am dehydrated, tired and hungry having only eaten a slice of bread at 7am and drunken 1/2 a bottle of water. Tried to call Uncle to get a ride home from Marlow but mobile again told me "numbers were barred". Found a phone booth that wouldn't accept cash nor calling card....grrr. So cycled back 6 miles to Cookham checkpoint to see if I could either grab a ride or borrow a mobile. Had no headlamp, but fortunately I have excellent night vision so sang loudly in the dark so that folks wouldn't run into me. It was a beautiful clear night and the stars were bright. By the time I got back to Cookham checkpoint I was high on being outside on a glorious night and my fatigue had somehow disappeared. Got to finally eat something from the checkpoint's left overs of biscuits and bananas as they packed up. Uncle picked me up and got me back home by 9pm.
Feeling a little battered and disappointed that it took me 10 hours to completely mark up about 30+ miles. In that time I would have completed a 30+ mile marathon with a tyre.
I now need to go for a long run!