Saturday, 11 February 2017

Clarendon Trail Marathon - our day out

Well this seemed like another great idea.  The race starts from Salisbury and heads out along trails and paths to Winchester with a few hills along the route.  Phil was mad enough to join me on this race and although the temperature never rose above 12c the sun was never far away.

Me & Phil

Phil traveled from London to Salisbury on the Saturday evening and we met early at the start at the Wyvern College, Laverstock,  We had decided to set off with the 10:30 start (walkers having started at 8 and slow runners having started at 9:30) but this gave us a cut off time of 5 hours.  Having never raced to a cut off time this played on my mind the night before - I can go for miles, just not fast.

Finish line

We set out south through the village of Laverstock and then into the fields and woods east towards Pitton.  There was no way any runner was going to get lost as the number of Rotary Club marshals almost outnumbered the runners and sat in numbers at every twist and turn on the route.  This really helped in the loop around Middle Winterslow before pushing on to the half way mark at Broughton, which we hit just over the 2 hour mark.  We had started strong but were very aware of the hills and overall climb we were due to hit in the next 13 miles.

few hills
The first few miles out of Broughton were fairly flat until we crossed the River Test, at around 15 miles, then the hills started.  The biggest climb was through the woods up to Farley Mount at 20 miles.

In the heat of the sun the last 6 miles were a race in themselves.  The trail was constantly undulating but the baked trail paths gave us the required traction as the timer and miles counted down.

Eventually we could see the turning into the school and then the finish line. We had beaten the cut-off time, but not by much.  Overall the pace was not bad, but the early fast miles and hills in the second half hampered the overall progress.

Phil headed back by train from Winchester while I caught the bus back to the start.

Altra Olympus 2, injinji toe socks with Dirty Girl Gaiters
Ultimate Direction SJ v2 vest
DRC buff

Fuel:  Tailwind, black bean & brown rice burritos and 2 x SIS 20 gram protein whey sachets at the finish.

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