Forest of Dean Trail Half Marathon – race report
Two first in two weekends – my first Sportive and now my first Trail Half marathon. Going for the triple of firsts next weekend with a standard distance duathlon. But for now here is the race report for my Trail half marathon.
I entered this race last year but it was postponed due to snow and storms, and the bridges over the river Seven seemed to be closed more frequently than not due to high winds. I took the transfer option to this year as the option of doing the autumn race clashed with my holiday.
At £18 entry for a half marathon on a scenic natural course it was a good opportunity to expand my running experience. Also with ironman UK 70.3 in June this year which is by all reports the original and still the toughest of all 70.3 courses as partly off road and a challenging course this seemed good preparation for me.
As well as tackling firsts this year I seem to have selected all the hilly races, rides and events, partly subconsciously to make ironman UK seem flat I think !
Anyway it was lovely run in the forest today, mixed terrain from gravel, mud, cobbles, cinder, wooden bridges, moss & grass. A couple of hills needed respect & a walking break ! The four water stations were plenty and at just the right places, bonus they had jelly babies. We wore trail shoes which were beneficial for the rough sections especially the down hills.
Smooth organisation from plenty of parking, signage, pre-race information. We got to Speech House early so had a chance to look around, use the loo’s grab a cuppa and noted there was a BBQ, massage and shopping for post race.
Didn’t take too long to get there either, but felt the early start due to clock change and diversion on route. As usual Vic & I chatted our way all around the course enjoying the large field of 2000 runners and lots of spectators and marshals. You never felt alone in the forrest ! Didn’t see much wildlife but a few thousand humans probably scarred them off.
I will definitely go back and run this race again , maybe the autumn one which is a slightly different ( but not easier ) route.