The marathon set off at 9.30am on a cold, but sunny autumnal morning in Slaithwaite. We all headed out towards Huddersfield, it was mostly downhill, running alongside a beautiful canal. In fact it was very pastoral in places, with cows grazing at the edge of the water! At one point I saw a farmer with his dog herding sheep!
The path was mostly narrow canal towpath, but it was very muddy and there were a lot of deep puddles to negotiate. Running down some steep slippy cobbles proved challenging. We then turned around at Huddersfield and ran back towards the start and then on to Marsden. The return was hard, whereas before it was great to run downhill now the mini climbs began! Over the course of this marathon we had to negotiate 72 locks! On the way towards Marsden we ran through a long, dark tunnel! The path was a mixture of gravel and pot holes.
On reaching Marsden we ran across a field and then returned towards the start line and Huddersfield to repeat this all over again. I was determined to run strong and I did a sprint finish at the end.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first trail marathon. It was tough with little respite from the inclines, and the terrain was certainly rocky in places.
The event was well organised and the marshalls were friendly and encouraging. For me it wasn't a PB course, but I was third lady back!
I would like to thank Louise Goddard for her excellent coaching and marathon training plan ( that was more gruelling than the race!). To Ben for running 16 miles with me, a run that included speed work, to my husband Keith for supporting me on numerous training and speed sessions and our club for our weekly mix of speed and interval training.