Two weeks ago I ran on Dartmoor, yesterday I ran on Exmoor, this time a half marathon.
If you have 1 minute 30 seconds free click here to check out some of the route.
I was under no illusions, I knew it was going to be hard, even the course route told me that, but I was not quite prepared for ‘brutal’!
The car park was on the top of the cliff and boy was it windy. I had a very brief visit to the portaloo, praying that it did not end up like the one next to it, which was laying on its side! Thankfully the start was at the bottom of the valley and that was sheltered.
There was a 10k and half marathon on offer as part of the National Trusts Outdoor festival. Lots else going on also, glamping, camping, biking, coasteering, coastal swim, river swim, paddle boarding, rock pooling, in short a whole host of activities for the ‘outdoorsy’ type and family. Well done National Trust!
I scanned the other victims at the start, safe to say there was not many of us. There was some serious running looking types lining up, men with beards are usually the super trail athletes, sweeping statement maybe, but true! There was more of them than anyone else. (The exception to this is obviously Father Christmas, all others can run like the wind. Fact!)
This is the elevation profile of the 13.1 miles.
As you will see the first mile was up hill. I felt awful, I could not get my breathing to settle down, my energy levels had stayed at the bottom of the valley and I was running with the tail runner. Not a great start.
I tried hard not to be too despondent, but truth be told, I was struggling. It took all my stubbornness not to pull off the course when we looped back to the start before heading out again.
(Above) This was one of the smaller inclines!
(Above) This was the largest one, we went right to the top and at that top a big gust of wind took my baseball cap off my head it was last sighted rolling over the heather and I anticipate that it will end its days in the briny!
(Below) The scenery of course was stunning.
The terrain was challenging, lots of rocks to negotiate, some steps and narrow paths with sheer drops signed that they were dangerous!
I was so glad to get to the end and am trying hard not to mind that it was in a ridiculously slow time! Trying to put things in perspective now, the bearded winner got an incredible time of 1:45, I came in 50 minutes ish after this, if this was a flat road marathon I would finish about 50 minutes later than the winners, so maybe it’s not so bad after all.
The results went up last night. 19 runners, and I came 15th. BUT as the oldest competitor I won the V50 category! Seriously how could I be the oldest?
My body today is telling me that all those other ‘oldies’ are wise people!