Sunday, 8 August 2010

Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1

A cracking run in the sunshine today.  I ran the superb Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1, so named for the 5 rivers, 4 somethings, 3 country estates, 2 castles and a 1 cathedral (I think!)  There was a decent size field for a trail marathon of almost 200 and we set off at 9:30am, climbing the Iron Age hill fort of Old Sarum in the second mile.  Always a good way to warm up with an early hill!  But it was worth it for the stunning views across Salisbury and the countryside beyond.

We were soon out of town and into some pleasant countryside.  Its stretching it a bit to call this one a trail marathon as there was a fair bit of tarmac, but that's not to detract from the event at all.  The views were stunning throughout and the terrain varied.  Its nice to run a trail marathon for a change that isn't all big hills - there were a few but they didn't dominate the route as they did in, say, Baslow.  Unusually for a trail marathon, this one was very easy to follow - with big black-on-yellow arrows throughout the route.  I carried the (provided and marked up!) OS map but only gave it a few quick glances.  And I never used the typed directions.

Around 6 miles in, I slowed to chat briefly to Tyre Girl.  I've heard of polar explorers dragging old tyres to build fitness, but I'd never actually seen anyone doing it.  Now I have.  This woman is dragging tyres around marathons.

Highlights of the route included Longford Castle, and then Great Yews where the route wound its way under some magical yew tree woods, where it was marked with a very long string!  There is no way anyone would have found their way through without the string.

I ran the first half in 1:58 and slowed up a bit as dehydration and the heat hit me hard in the second half, but was pleased to find the energy to keep pushing and, despite a few short walk breaks, finished in 4:12:26.

A big thank you to Salisbury Fire Service for putting on an excellent event.  Its always good to see a choice of distances to get as many taking part as possible, and this one has 10k, 20k, 30k, 42k and 50k and you could run or walk.  I managed to run almost all of it.

Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1 marathon medal
No pictures of thecourse today - I was too busy with the running.  That's me up to 21 marathons now.

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