The 1st Heart of England Marathon (its 26.9) and 15 miler (actually 16.5) at the very quaint village of Henley in Arden between Solihull and Stratford upon Avon.
Today was just about a little outrun which I was thankful for having gone for a 7-8 mile outrun with John and Dan the night previously. Starting from Henley school which is similar to rocking upto Charnwood Marathon in its laid back approach and lay out and even has Breakfast and tea/coffee Free of charge pre-race included! Joined today on the start line by two very good friends the lovely Zoe Sewter of Hermitage harriers and Andrea Winkless of Barrow Runners already, I`m in my happy zone when the race kicks off at 9:30a.m.Terrain wise, ok its Mercia we are absolutely blessed aren’t we with such good places to run?
This isn’t 16 miles of slog its 16 very nice miles of footpaths, bridleways, forest tracks, the odd bit of road, and perhaps two muddy bits throughout the whole course, a few rises the odd hill and some very nice villages. The check points just got better, the first one a bit meagre with jaffa cakes/choc chip cookies, the second the same although they`d make you bacon butties/veg sausage cob and the third one was a virtual cake shop! If you thought that was good then upon finishing free drinks again, plus lasagne and a pudding all inclusive! One of those fine races where you can actually put weight on.
Small gripe would be although the arrow markers are plentiful they are kind of small and we amongst many other went wrong, we actually did 18 miles! I`m sure feedback from the 1st ever event will see it grow and improve next year. Certainly would like to try the full distance next year the course was a great mix of everything, if you fancy a no pressure offroad jaunt this comes highly recommended. [Rob]