I have done this event once before in 2011 and the only thing putting me off coming back was that is a lapped course. However, we needed an event to keep us from training and so we decided to do it. It was good to see a number of people we know, Hardmoors friends and clubmates.
The weather was excellent, cloudy with a very slight breeze. The sun came out towards the end of the first lap, but soon went in again. The wind picked up a in the final lap and it became slightly colder, but overall very good conditions.
The lap start round Ladyburn Lake in the same direction as the parkrun here.
Just before the end of the lap we turned off on a muddy and wet path which leads to a quiet road. We ran on the road north for about half a mile before turning off on to the beach
The first photo is by Will Thompson (thanks)
and this photo is by Claire Stanton (thanks) of us coming off the beach
and going south for about a mile. Then we do a loop of the southern lake before returning to the start. Each lap is 6.5 miles and we did a little extra loop at the start to make it up to 26.2 miles.
We started off steadily, about 10 minute miles and we decided that we would do two laps at that pace and then see how we felt at that point. When we got there we both felt a bit tired so we slowed down a bit and took 1 hour 15 minutes for lap three - laps one and two had been done in a total of 2hr 15min.
We are not used to running continuously for 26 miles and it showed, on lap three we were walking the small rises which we ran up on the first two laps.
The plan became get to the finish in under 5 hours. So we had 1hr 30min to cover the final lap and still get under 5 hours. We were both feeling tired so we adopted a run walk strategy for the final lap and managed it in 1 hr 19min so 4hr 49min overall. That is 4 min slower than when I did it in 2011 but I am happy with that.
The finishing prize was a medal
and a North East Marathon club warm hat which was very nice. Sadly the coffee shop in the Visitor's Centre had closed by the time we got back but overall it had been a good day out :-)