Dunstable Downs Marathon Challenge
I had booked the Dunstable Marathon as part of my 'longish races I haven't doneí idea. The race has three options - a half marathon, a 20 mile and a marathon.
Before the race start we met quite a few other Harriers and we even had a picture with the Mayor!
I was running with a friend, Lee, off we set, for the first few miles stuck with the crowd, the 1/2 mara and the 20 miler peeled off later in the course. Can I just add at this point that the whole course is unmarked, you have a map, and some directions, most of which are left and right turns, mostly across fields and through nameless woods. There that's my defence sorted.
At around 15 miles we found ourselves running with a couple of lovely ladies from Leighton Fun Runners, they were about the same pace and were also struggling a bit with directions (and they had potatoes and malt loaf and they were really good fun!!) We got a little lost at this point, not a problem as we were happy to try to work it out. Then we met a chap coming from a completely different direction, he looked lost and tired and was low on fluids. He joined our merry gang and we were off over the hills and fields. We ended up quite a few miles from the Buddhist centre we were looking for, after running round in circles a bit we finally got some help from a friendly farmer and headed off in the right direction. Unfortunately our new friend was not a seasoned runner - in fact we learned that the furthest he had run was 7 miles! With no water and now legs so tired he could only walk we couldn't possibly leave him. So we trudged on for a good few miles running a bit and walking and waiting a bit. I got stung by a wasp, which made me leap about, not funny on tired legs, I may have discovered a few new dance moves though. Finally 5-6 miles from the finish we got hold of the organisers who picked up our stray and Lee (We had done I think 28 miles at this point!) Us three remaining ladies were determined to finish the course and were happy we knew where we were going. I was also on track to see 50k pass by on my Garmin and I felt quite happy physically
so 'bring it on' I thought.
The last five miles were pretty nippy compared to the rest of the race.
A Day of firsts.
The first time Iíve run over 50k
The first time Iíve ever come last in a race Ė 8 hours!!!
And met some really fun people
HUGE thanks to the organisers for hanging on for us
I would like to say the directions were not clear at all, maybe if I had stayed with the pack it would have been a 26.2 mile run at a reasonable time in my report, but hey - this one is much more fun - isn't it
Race Results :