19 Mar 2016 – Charnwood Marathon

It’s the twentieth Charnwood Marathon and my personal favourite race in Leicestershire, this Charnwood stunner at a mere £10.00 entry for the 16.4 mile or 27 mile version with every penny going to charity!

Sadly with Ashby 20 and the Stathern Duathlon amongst the many events happening this weekend this great event does suffer somewhat and for me at least its a better course than the ultra-popular Charnwood Hills race in local vicinity.

Today its Rob Beers, Greg Pettingill, John Hudson (in Barrow colours) doing the shorter route, Rich Gray doing the 27 and Sue Pettingill walking the 15 miler. The challenge begins at Rawlins College Quorn before heading out of the village on a slow uphill towards Woodhouse and Woodhouse Eaves before turning up Upper Broombriggs. Today was meant to be very much a training run but Greg went flying off at the start and I felt honoured to join him and sort of kept it up although I did hang back a bit at sections of the course. From Upper Broombriggs it’s the long climb up Beacon Hill followed by a long descent off the top down Deans Lane before cutting round the Beacon plantation. From there the course goes up Windmill hill, back into Woodhouse Eaves and into that (Bloody) golf course, I always wonder going through here about flying golf balls and which way they will come!

Up Cardiac Hill before the slight incline into Bradgate Park and looming ahead the climb up Old John which I might be in a minority but strangely enjoy. An orienteer over Bradgate Park towards Swithland gates before entering Swithland woods which somehow I found easier to navigate in eight inches of snow doing this event a few years ago than in early spring. Into Swithland village and I hope the fatigue in my legs is enough to keep my away from my nearest rival some 30 seconds back. Turning left at the Telephone box and getting the right path (Something race leader Wreake Runner Bruno Nikoloff surprisingly got wrong!) towards old Woodhouse. It now became a re-trace of the route we took outwards and I up the speed on the way back to Quorn although the last road before the high street seemed to go on forever. I spot John Hudson whose race was curtailed due to injury early on and tells me I’m currently in fourth place! Turning the corner I enter Rawlings college but this is the hardest navigation bit on the course and I can’t remember which way I came in! Anyway I make it in and yes very happy with fourth place for a quick training run!

I can’t say enough good about this event I really can’t , the only downsides slightly being the races it clashes with over the weekend and if you don’t know the area the first time can be very hard to read the map.  [Rob]

16m results: Rob Beers (4th, 2:09:58), Greg Pettingill (9th, 2:16:46), Sue Pettingill (73rd, 4:52:19)

27m results: Rich Gray (51st, 5:20:56)