Sunday, 8 March 2015

Chiltern Kanter 2015

Three marathons in three weekends and this one was the slowest.  I had been feeling good about this one, but was hit by a stomach bug the day before and very nearly didn't set off on Sunday morning.

I ate my usual porridge but felt like I was running on empty, after barely eating the day before.  At least I was rewarded with a nice, sunny day and a lovely course.

This LDWA marathon was a bit different.  Rather than written directions, I was given a couple of pages of grid references, 28 in total and 3 checkpoints, and had to choose my own route.  In almost all cases there was only one obvious route and I planned the route in advance.

It broke the run up nicely into less-than-a-mile sections on average.  Despite feeling weak and very, very tired, I plodded on.  The first half overlapped with the Dunstable Downs route, with a short, sharp ascent up to the Whipsnade Tree Cathedral.  Halfway saw the Ashridge Estate and I met Claire and Arthur.  Very tempted to jump in the car but I knew if I could push on another mile past them I'd be OK to finish, which I did.  The second half picked up the Ridgeway around Tring and a long climb away from the A41.

Each checkpoint had a clue and the answers were easy to find, but it kept me focused and kept my mind off the fatigue to a degree.  A nice long descent towards the canal helped my motivation and then it was just a few miles of flat running home.  The rain just began as I was finishing, just making sub-5 in 4:59.

LDWA Chiltern Kantern certificate
This was a scenic course in great running weather and the unusual navigation was fun.  Definitely one to run again.