Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Bovington Trail Marathon - well nearly

"I know" I said to myself, "I'll end the year on a trail marathon around the military training area and tank tracks of Bovington".  I seriously need to stop listening to those voices!!

The fog was still shrouding the barracks and static tanks as we arrived at the start for the inaugural White Star Running Bovington Trail Marathon.   As usual with WSR races there was an amount of dressing up, mostly military but one gentleman took up the dare and turned up as Pamela Anderson in a Baywatch outfit and wig - he ran the race in this outfit.

We huddled together for the brief in the hope of generating some heat.  After the usual banter we were led to the start and at 8:34 precisely we set off.  The first 4.5 miles were fairly uneventful paths with an easily passable water crossing, those daft enough to get soaked so early into the race could easily pay for it on this course.

Early water hazard
At around the 5 mile mark we crossed into the northern part of the training area and onto the first of the real tank tracks, wide sandy tracks with deep ruts and very soft underfoot.  Then onto the infantry training area, a wide expanse of rolling countryside with soft sand, gorse and plenty of roots for the less observant runners. 

As with all WSR races there are brilliant Check Points (CPs) along route with plenty of food and drinks, however, on this race there were slightly less signposts than maybe there should have been and people were getting lost on the trails.  At one point a group of us guessed our way (rightly) across a large area of tank track and into the woods.  I passed at about 15 miles by a guy who had got lost and already completed 22 miles!

stop listening to the voices!
From the half way point the course changed again to a more scenic woodland trail and as I reached the 17 miles I met up with Richard Corp who was starting to struggle slightly with an injured knee and I decided to take the the time and pick his brain as we made our way around the course.

Yea, that
Final few 100 meters
The course twisted its way back towards the finish with at least 3 stream crossings before we finally hit the tarmac and turned towards the finish.  We finished together just over the 5 hours, however, my watch showed we were just short of the 26.2 - probably a wrong turn somewhere.  An interesting course!

As usual with WSR events the medal was awesome, as was the food at the checkpoints and support from the marshals.

Crossing the line

With Richard Corp

Would I do it again - maybe.

Shoes - Altra Lone Peak 1.5
Vest - Ultimate Direction SJ
DRC Buff

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