Ed: Fiona Oakes reports from her Iphone after the Dartmoor Vale Marathon
Just to let you know how I got on in Dartmoor. As I said, I was using this as training for MdS as I knew the course was tough – just how tough I was not prepared for. The hills were extremely long and steep and they kept cropping up all through the course (2 laps) and some people I passed doing the half marathon were having to walk up them. It left no opportunity to get into any sort of running rhythm at all. As I explained, I was running this as MdS training and preparation for a quick Marathon later in the year so I wore my MdS backpack too. Having said this, I did manage to win the race in a new course record beating the next female by over 15 minutes and coming 5th overall. I was surprised by this as I could not push hard because the nature of the course made it very difficult with the terrain and the first lap being strewn with half marathon runners going very slowly up the hills – sometimes walking – up them who I had to pick my way through. This was no easy task as the roads were so thin and winding too. I ran 3.01 which I am annoyed with as without the hinderance of these runners I could have gone quicker but since only 2 men ran sub 3 and without backpack, I can’t be to hard on myself as this was, after all, just training. I have to say the organisers were amazed and said he could not have seen a woman go sub 3.15 on this course. My advice to other members is that if you want a really hard, testing course this is OK but if you want a decent time this is NOT the race !