Wednesday, 7 May 2014

South Downs Way LDWA Marathon

Whilst I’m in Eastbourne, I've decided to try out new races that I wouldn't normally get to do. After all, Eastbourne is so far away from the North West. So, I decided to be brave and do the LDWA South Downs Way Marathon (well, 28 miles). I used to do LDWA ‘self-navigational’ marathons all of the time, but I’m a bit rusty these days. I think far too much about all of the times I have gotten lost in the past....which is a lot, by the way!

Early morning on 27th April, I decided to get a bus to a little place called East Dean and sign up on the day for the 28 miler. I saw a few familiar faces, but not many. Runners were meant to start at 10am, but I arrived early and found my way to the village hall by 8.20am, so I decided to start with the walkers at 9am. A lot of other runners started early also. We all knew it’d be a hilly one and it didn’t disappoint. The South Downs and the Seven Sisters are hilly, but so beautiful.

Fortunately, I managed to tag along with some extremely friendly locals. They had done the route many times before and knew exactly where to go. I didn’t even need to look at my route description. Although, I had – very professionally – highlighted and laminated my route description.

Ultimately, I’m really happy I decided to give this one a go. We took approx. 6 hours 17 mins (you never know quite how long you're going to be out there for where hills, trail and directions are concerned), with over 3, 600ft of elevation. There was some chilly wind and drizzle up on the hills but overall, the weather held out pretty well. We also got biscuits and sandwiches on the way round. However, the sandwiches were a strange array of apricot jam and Marmite. I’m more of a cheese, pickle and/or ham kind of girl... But we did get beans on toast and a cuppa' tea at the end of the race :)

I think my favourite bit of the day was when some friends came to see me after the finish. They actually made me a banner (If you can't read it, it says something along the lines of 'Liz, you're the biz, you might need a whizz, so lets grab some fizz and set up a pub quiz'), which was so sweet and I got to have a nice pint of ale in the pub, which was aptly names 'Legless Rambler'. Overall, I would definitely recommend this one. It was only £8 in advance and £3 extra on the day = bargain!

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