On a very wet morning and heavy rain and a mud bath of a car park the ‘re scheduled forest of dean half seemed to be jinxed but with over 800 runners ready to start it was a great race atmosphere !
I did this race 2 years ago and pulled out after 3 miles so my return was with much apprehension but it was unfinished business !!
It stopped raining and we were off on a very gloomy grey morning but conditions were surprisingly good though lots of hard stone trails which made for a fast start ; I was in 6.30 minute miles yet Gemma and Kelly I did not see till 6 and 3 Miles so credit to them both, I myself nervously got through my 3 mile demon and continued well and felt good making up places and eventually got to 11 miles where I kicked in which was confidence for me and approaching the finish line I out sprinted 2 others to claim 13th place age group, earning a top 50 t-shirt in 1.31.48!!! I was though 7 mins off my PB on the same course but this was 10 years ago so I guess age has caught me up as I fast approach my 50s however I got round with no niggles so took a lot of confidence.
Gemma of course, with all her marathons, seemed to breeze it in 1.38.43, 5th for age closely followed by rapidly improving Kelly Bowen 1.38.46, 6th, so confidence high for Kelly’s Marathon; Jo Marriott continuing to run well in a creditable 1.53.52, 12th per age and ever popular Carol in a fantastic 2.04.44, 26th per age. Jon Barnes won the the race 1.15.10 in prep for his Newport Marathon end of this month!
This is a great race especially for speed with some good runners but tip of the day wear road shoes even if it’s wet as I found the hard stone surfaces harsh on my trail shoes and feet!!