Lincolnshire Off-road Marathon Challenge, 17 oct

Verna Burgess from Hertfordshire reports on her off-road adventure in Lincs, blessed by good weather!

I had a return visit to the Spires and Steeples Off Road Challenge on Sunday 17th October 2010, proudly sporting my VRUK vest. This is an off road run or walk of 26 miles starting at Lincoln Castle or 13 miles starting at Metheringham. Both distances finish at Sleaford. This is a good value and well organised race. As I was doing the full distance we were transported without fuss to the start where the Castle coffee shop had been opened especially for us and there were NO QUEUES for the WCs! This race has a fast start downhill through Lincoln and then picks up trails, footpaths and quiet roads all the way to the end. It is quite delightful running, with friendly marshals and well stocked checkpoints. As you catch the walkers, who started an hour ahead, they were always happy to step aside and let you pass with an encouraging well done. The last 3 miles is a rough uneven grass track that goes on forever and quite tough mentally . I was very happy to finish in 4:10 (my watch as this is not a timed race). A minor gripe is that I managed to miss a checkpoint and do some extra milage and a comment on the Runners World forum says some of the young marshals had gone walkabout! I thoroughly recommend this race and will be back in 2011.