Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Holly Challenge marathon 2012

This is one of those events which I was lucky enough to have been invited to by my fellow running friend Denzil Martin.
So what's the challenge element I hear you all ask, Well it's 26.2 miles offroad & it's undulating , ( I think that sums it up) & throw in lots of mud & the fact u have to run the same course 31 times then a little bit at the end. There u have it the Holly Challenge.
Saturday 16th June 2012 I will remember this date as I think it's one of the only marathons I have ever done on a Saturday, off we set to Sunny Telford ( no that should read cold & wet Telford) to find the race , after a slight problem finding it we eventually found the start down a lovely lane in the middle of a nature reserve.
I was liking the look of the course straight away as I always seem to run better on undulating courses :)
We were set of at & straight away Charlie Sharpe went into the lead , a place he stayed for the whole race & he finished in 3.34.
When I mentioned earlier that the course was undulating I wasn't lying, 1st lap u went down a little hill then up a longish steady climb, then down again, & then up again u can see how this went on, I honestly don't recall any flat bits at all :)
I was very lucky to have my mom & dad at the event as my hubby was working in Denmark, and they made for a great support team, passing me drinks & sweets when I needed them.
I was passed quite early on by the leading lady who was running very strong!! I continued on & kept plugging the laps out & me been me chatting to fellow runners as I passed/lapped them ( thank you to all the runners who spoke to me as I passed) especially the chap who kept calling me speedy Gonzales . You all did really well on a demanding course.
I finished in 2nd position in the ladies & I was really pleased with my performance as I was catching the leading lady with every lap ( if only it had been a ultra lol)
My time was 3.57 pleased to get under 4 on such a tough course & more importantly I felt fine & could of continued, which was my main aim of me doing this race, for some good training for the 24hour Thunder run at the end of July & the good news is it also gave me chance to test my Team buff kit out, which of course was very comfortable!! My new Hoka shoes were awesome & I am really pleased to have spent the money on them now!!
A big well done to Sarah Turner & Karl Randall who both got injured quite early in the race but grit & determination got them both to the finish.
Last but not least a massive thank you to Denzil & Lucy & of course my new best friend Meg the marathon running springer spaniel for organising a lovely event & we will be back maybe in December ;)