Last Sunday saw me opting for the gentler uphill pulls of the Forest of Dean Autumn Half Marathon, rather than the hillier Bury Ditches. This was the second time I’d run this forested, trail race and I’d forgotten what an enjoyable course it was. Although not as quick as the Spring course, the route, for me, is definitely preferable as it avoids the roads altogether. It was a beautiful warm day, with just under 500 runners. Surprisingly, there were very few faces I recognised except for a gaggle of Presteigne Pacers. I was the only Croft runner and was pleased to come in 11th woman out of 177 (3rd FV45) in a race time of: 1:44:51 and 121st overall. However, I was annoyed that I wasn’t able to push harder at the end and pass the woman that I had been gaining on for the latter part of the race. I stopped for a drink and gel at mile 10 and couldn’t regain my pace and lost her just past mile 12 (a lesson to be learnt, perhaps – to gel or not to gel – too late maybe?!). Anyway, it was a well organised race with cheery marshals and a computer at the end that told you your race and chip time, gender and age category position straight away!!! Technology in the Forest of Dean! Oh, and a free massage which was very welcome, if painful! I’m sure I will be back again next year to try and improve further upon my time!
1st man: Jarleth McKenna (Bristol & West AC) in 1:15:12
1st lady: Marianne Britten in 1:33:05