Monday, 12 July 2010

High Weald Challenge - marathon number 20

Following my marathon PB three weeks ago, I just ran my slowest ever marathon in 6 hours and 6 minutes.  Apart from the running, there wasn't much in common between the two events.

This one began in the East Sussex village of Wadhurst.  After a late night at a birthday party, and more beers than I'd normally drink the night before a big run, I had a pleasant early morning drive in the sun down to the race start.  I got there in plenty of time because you can never be sure with LDWA event how early you can start as a runner, but with this one they stuck to the 10am start for all runners.  It was already very hot by the time we set off, starting on a short tarmac lane, but quickly off road for the rest of the run.

The course was hilly, off road, covering plenty of rough fields and very hot - a far cry from the dead flat tarmac of Boddington three weeks previously.  It was all going well until just after the first checkpoint when I took a wrong turn somewhere crossing a patchwork of fields.  Stupidly I didn't pay attention to the directions for a few minutes, instead following half a dozen other runners. It turned out they didn't know where they were going and it quickly became obvious we were off route.  Carrying on in roughly the same direction I thought we would soon pick up the right trail, but we were way off and ended up adding on two extra miles - not what I needed in the heat, on a 26.5 mile course, and tired before I set out.

The rest of the run took in some lovely scenery, but I was struggling and couldn't get enough water in, despite topping up my Camelbak at most of the checkpoints.  I passed Rudyard Kipling's house and Bewl Water, just before a final climb before the finish.

I highly recommend the High Weald Challenge - another well organized LDWA event.  And that makes marathon number 20 for me.

Finisher's certificate

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