Monday, 6 July 2009

Tanners Marathon - Race Report

The Tanners marathon is a unusual event in as much it was designed for walkers and they are challenged to walk a punishing 30 mile route in under 10 hours, no mean feat for any fit walker. This obviously attracts a lot of hearty men and lady folk from the running fraternity from the Trail Runners Association, to club runners down to humble fitness fanatic.

We all met at Leatherhead
Football club just in time to see the walkers set off at 9.00am to a loud cheer as we sauntered in for a cup of tea, get kitted up and have general banter between the runners and compare old races we had attended.

Sharp on 10.00 am we also were sent on our way, no compasses needed, just our whits and a 3 pages of written instructions telling us which trails to cross and distance for the next turn or instruction, a great tool to get teams working together.

Within 30 minutes the sun finally poked its head around the clouds and the heat of the dat started, increasing to 26 degrees centigrade. Checkpoints were every 5 miles or so and boy did we need them! I hust have drunk a pint of water at each one. The hills were tough and with gradients of 12% at some places.

Faster paced runners were soon dropping back through the field as a steady pace and good stops at the chec
kpoints proved a good way to survive the overbearing heat and moral seen to ebb away as we approached the 21 mile mark to see a sharp ascent and descent of 200 feet, what one would call "character building" by the top of the ascent even the hardiest of walkers and runners were seen bending down holding their knees or gripping a tree trunk panting for air, God the humidity was high. A quick drink, a joke and we were on our way to a tricky descent. I thought the hard bit was over until we hit one of the hardest ascent for a long time 2.5 miles with a rise of about 500 feet, not much normally but by now the heat was over bearing and there was no shade for 2 miles of the climb.

From then on it was a gradual drop down back into Leatherhead through some woodlands and shaded alleys, every step hard as the trails were heavily rutted and rooted to arrive back at the club for a lovely cup of tea and a well deserved rest.

I make it sound as though it was a tough 30.3 miles, by god it was, but it was through some of the most beatiful areas of Surrey with stunning views and sights such as running across Epsom Race course and seeing the Grand Stand in the distance. A beautiful day, tough but one I would do again and again


2 comments:

  1. Congratulations! (Now I need to go down some water in empathy)

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  2. :-) I am still thirsty

    Love your blog BTW

    ReplyDelete