|The Forest Marathon.
Incorporating 10k, half marathon and 17 mile options
Reports – Louise Stewart and Lesley Kirk
Louise’s run in her own words.
I recently did the 17 mile option of the Forest Marathon in Henley in Arden, along with Lesley Kirk.
I’d never heard of this before but it popped up on my Facebook feed and I thought it looked interesting. Many club members know about this from previous years and as a relative newbie it was useful to hear their thoughts about it beforehand; these focused on food, views and maps!
I’m happy to report that this was great prep for a warm tough run. Beautiful scenery, sparse and very subtle signage and the bacon sandwich at CP2 went down better than expected (ie it stayed down!).
My navigational skills were well tested and I was pleased not to get lost as well as also being able to direct others. I had a feeling of real satisfaction having done this and will look out for more similar events in the future as I start to build up my miles.
Lesley’s run in her own words.
The Heart of England Forest is a charity originally set up by the late Felix Dennis and it hopes to eventually plant 30,000 acres of native broadleaf trees, to create a new forest across Warwickshire.
The Forest Marathon, incorporating a 10k, half marathon and 17 mile option, has been set up to help with this process, and every entry covers the planting of two new trees (one for 10k entrants).
I had originally entered the full marathon, but due to a nasty cold virus, I was unable to get the distance training in, so decided on the day that the 17 miler was probably the more sensible option.
Given the warm conditions, it proved a blessing, as the temperature rose rapidly throughout the morning. I ran with several marathon runners for the first ten miles, but once I turned off to go the seventeen mile route, I was virtually on my own. This meant I then had to look at the written instructions every minute or two, as the route markers were difficult to spot! I only went wrong once however, but managed to find the only muddy part of Warwickshire in the process!
I was relieved to finish, but it was a bit underwhelming, in that you ran in through the front door of a school hall and walked up to the registration desk to hand a number tag in but it was still a welcome sight, as was the school kitchens, where they were serving hearty post-run food!
The results were :
Lesley – 18th overall, 6th female in a time of 3.11
Louise – 36th overall, 16th female, in a time of 3.46
There were 101 runners and walkers who completed the distance.