2 in 1!

With Longleat moving from the 6th Feb to the 20th Jan it meant I had to double up in the last weekend of January. But double the races means double the fun right!? Well this weekend it definitely did and fortunately not double the pain!

After helping at the Maverick event in Salisbury last year I had a free entry to use and what better place to use it than in the New Forest. 20km of forest paths lay ahead for my longest event of the challenge so far. Luckily Maverick races are sponsored by Adidas Terrex and they offer ‘Trial & Test’ trainers which was much appreciated because aforementioned trail trainers are seriously on their last legs! Accompanied by Kate, who’d promised conversation for the whole 2 hours, and Sarah, who had politely laughed and told me I’m too slow to run with her (maybe not exactly how it was put….), we were blessed with a glorious sunny fresh morning. Roundhill campsite (will need to remember for future summer adventures) was getting busy and with 600 runner split over a 6km, 12km & 20km routes it was sure made for a buzzing race HQ.

As seems to be a theme in all the events so far, we tend to go out faster than talked about. But why not get carried away, not as if I have to save myself for other events…. I thought id lost Kate at the first boggy section, but a few screechy moments later she was back by my side where she remained for a whole 1.55hr. I considered employing the tactic recommended by one of the Drs at work to run a bit faster to puff her out but she actually has some good chat, good enough for a YouTube appearance!

Can you tell it was near the end!?

Throughout the project I feel the tight Scotsman will appear more and more as I go. This weeks money saving tactic was pick up a few ‘spare’ gels at the feed stop to fuel your next few races, well if they do offer such good Precision Hydration, they will pay the price! We managed to complete the long route in 1.55hrs with both of use fading a little by the end. But what better way to be greeted than with a Days (alcohol free beer), Jimmy’s Ice coffee and a Barebells Protein bar. Few photos later and a trip home via McDonalds (remember kids post race nutrition is what separates the pros from the amateurs.) and 1st event of the weekend was complete.

At least the cameraman got to see Sarah run 😜

5 down….. 47 to go!

  • Event Difficulty 3/5 Glorious off road half marathon with some undulations
  • Event Goodies 5/5 Free event due to helping out volunteering (Maverick Races are great for this). Topped last week; Beer, Coffee, Protein bar, Medal, Head band and free trial of trainers!
  • Company 4.5/5 Would have been an easy 5/5 if it was just Kate and her chat and pilfering skills! But Sarah dropped us from the off (so i’ve drop 0.5)….but at least she had pre warned us!
  • Eye Candy 4/5 Beautiful trails with some local wildlife on show and plenty of Canicross on the go which always makes for a happy Paddy!
  • Event Scran 2/5 The goodies were awesome but no bacon roll and ques for the coffee was long. Luckily Maccas in Salisbury hooked me up!

No rest for the wicked so on to Longleat 10km with a load of my Salisbury Tri Club mates. Longleat being a local safari park I was hoping to see some “Lions & Tigers & Bears Oh my” and I was not disappointed!


Everyone had talked about the course being hilly I was pretty excited to see how the legs felt after yesterdays 20km. Again the formality of discussing rough ‘race’ pace and then throwing it straight out the window as soon as they say go, seems to be a trend appearing here! 900 odd people rocked up to do this event which made for a great opportunity for a club coffee morning afterwards, only the matter of 10kms in the way!

2 x 1km hills and another cheeky ‘mountain’ half way through definitely made for, in my opinion, a very enjoyable 10km. The thought of homemade marmite & cheese swirls and oat & raisin cookies was getting me through, oh and the irrational fear of an escaped lion! 10km done and dusted it was time for a squad photo in front of the house (is it weird that I always wonder how much it is to heat those bad boys!?) and then onto the good part. With 1 forgotten cafetiere and 1 smashed, we may not have provided the quickest refreshments but we kept the complainers at bay with copious amounts of cake!

Salisbury Tri Club Assemble!!

What a great way to end a double header and finish the month on a massive high.

6 down…..48 to go.

  • Event Difficulty 2.5/5 3 x decent hills in 10km is always tasty but the distance was nice.
  • Event Goodies 1/5 A nice medal but some weird sparkling ‘kambucha’ nonsense at the end didn’t cut it! Also paid for the t-shirt which ain’t up to much so no more paying extra for t-shirts!
  • Company 5/5 10+ club members and Nigel chauffeured me there, kept me company all the way round (bit faster than hoped!) and was our barista extraordinaire!
  • Eye Candy 3/5 What a house and epic grounds, 2 loops of a mighty hill taking you past a Pub was just cruel though!
  • Event Scran 5/5 But I would say that as I made some cakes and the teas and coffees for the crew!

January totals:

  • 63km or 5hrs 22mins ‘Raced’
  • 430km or 33hrs ‘Trained’
  • £2286 or 19% of £12,000 raised for YST.
  • 31 running buddies

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