7 December 2015

Trailscape East

On Saturday we took part in our second Trailscape event, this time down in Cuxton in Kent. Again, 3 distances were on offer; a full marathon (ish - 27.2 miles), a half (13.6) and a 10k. Unfortunately when I entered, the half was already full, and although I entered the 10k I was told they had run out of canicross places at the 10k distance. So after talking to the organizers, I ended up transferring to the marathon, but only running one lap. This did mean a slightly earlier start, but the course was less busy. The only downside was because the route had a section of there-and-back-shared track near the end this meant us passing the 10k runners who were just setting out head on; not ideal when the track was so narrow.

This course was much hillier, consisted of more forest trails, incorporated more styles and had a few fallen trees to hop over in places. We also ended up running through the middle of a shoot! We'd stumbled upon a convoy of land-rovers when crossing one of the forest roads, and evidently that was them arriving. Lots of shooting followed, then shouting, and then, as we descended a particularly steep downhill section we came across a gathering of men with shotguns and busy Labradors searching the surrounding shrub. It was a little unnerving I must say, although the men were perfectly friendly.

One thing I do like about Trailscape events is there little signs dotted around the course. In addition to their course markers and reassurance tape used to mark the course, they also have little motivational signs. On some of the particularly steep sections they had signs such as "what goes up.." and "touch for power". Its a welcome distraction from the pain of the hill, even if I was wishing the "touch for power' sign released a squirrel in the right direction. I did touch it just in case, but sadly it didnt.

It was one of the hardest half marathons I've done, but I am enjoying the longer distances and getting to explore different areas with all these off road trail adventures with these two.

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