22nd May 2016
White Star Running Ox Marathon
It’s been two years since I’ve run a marathon. The last was towing the line at the gloriously sunny London Marathon in 2014. Today, as I was kindly given a lift by Jo and Sarah from Westbourne Running Club, the weather didn’t look as promising! I was a bit apprehensive as I really haven’t been running much this year, but pulling into the parking and camping area near Rushmore Golf Course, I started to feel a bit of that buzz you can only get at trail events.
I set about taping my feet, organising my kit and downed a large coffee before wandering down to the start line for a race briefing by RD Andy. After a quick explanation about the route, we were led to the start and let loose on the Wiltshire countryside at 9.30am.
I set off at a nice steady pace and pretty much stuck to it throughout the morning – for me it was about getting around without my unprepared legs giving up on me! Although the organisers White Star Running had to do a last minute reroute, I thought they picked some really great trails. There was plenty of single track through the woods, some amazing views over the hills and hardly any road.
I carried most of the water and food I wanted from the start but there were enough aid stations to go without a pack. A few people asked why I was carrying so much but I think it’s a habit I have picked up over the last few years! (Plus it’s always good to have a sandwich selection on tap). The infamous Love Station, at around 20 miles, was as good as promised and I managed to have a small cider from the Cranborne Chase table! Also a big shout out to the final aid station which had some amazing dairy free cake 🙂
For the last few miles, Kris and Amy were able to meet me which was great and motivated me to keep running until the end. I also had some company from the pooch Toby who decided to run, and then huff and puff, his way around the final three miles.
I finished in roughly 5hr10, narrowly missing the second rain shower of the day thankfully, and super pleased that my legs felt ok.
A fun day and a great re introduction to the mighty marathon!