The Larmer Tree Race Report by Rosie Eldridge

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Thanks to Rosie for this report on last weekend’s Lamar Tree race.

The Harriers ladies took off on a jolly overseas adventure!  The Larmer Tree half marathon, an off road hilly half, in the Salisbury/Dorset area.

We decided to travel up the day before and make a weekend of it. Abbie found us some amazing caravans to stay in at a ridiculously low price which was awesome.

We spent the evening carbing up on fish and chips, mushy peas and Prosecco and watching ‘RUN fat boy RUN’. Everyone was relaxed and felt happy as we had all decided that this run would be a jolly jaunt with no pressure of times and places .The morning of the race was also a relaxed affair (a little too relaxed some might say) as we found it a bit tricky to find the start. We knew we were near as we saw runners from the 20 mile race bounding down the slope and across the road. After asking numerous marshals, dog walkers and passers-by, we eventually found our way… 15 mins before the start of the race and still needing to register, the relaxed haze that we were enjoying earlier had soon vanished.

After a little panic (!!) numbers on, we found ourselves waiting at the start line. We had discussed earlier that we would run at a gentle pace but would probably find a natural pace with each other from our group. The race starts along a path with lovely views and a beautiful big arched building followed by a downhill section across the road through a gorgeous grassy valley. We were all together chatting away and enjoying the sunshine. The first hill approached and it was steep, long and seemingly never ending. At this point Tracey, Sarah and Julie forged ahead of us, still chatting away to each other. Samantha, Elaine, Charlotte and I continued up together. We went through a woodland area with steep down and uphill sections. At    the 3 mile mark we found ourselves at the first water/gel station…. I was gasping at this point!!! We all had a drink, grabbed a gel and ran down a lovely slope. It was so nice not being uphill.  At the bottom of the hill there was a split sign, half marathon left and 20 milers right. The half was straight up another steep hill. It was at this point that Elaine and Samantha went ahead into the distance. We saw them again at the Love station, a water stop with a difference you could choose a variety of things from vodka, cider, cakes, sausages, tomatoes and savoury eggs. I found myself tucking into the food like I was at a wedding buffet, no alcohol for us though; we were thirsty for water and squash only. As we set off again we found ourselves running through a ploughed field, the view  to the right of us was stunning. We were pretty high up as we had been climbing for what seemed like forever. The view consisted of a lush green valley with a monster of a hill in the middle of it. It was a sight to behold. We continued on through fields and gravel paths. We began to descend, down, down we went, chatting and laughing along the way and then before we knew it, we were at the base of the very hill we had been admiring earlier… Some called it a “cheeky hill”. Charlotte and I began the attack but soon joined the other runners and power walked up the beast. When we got to the top the rest of the course followed with a nice downhill and a flat section with a couple more short sharp climbs. Then a very long uphill section that flattened out at the top that took us to the finish.

This was the slowest half that I have ever run but it was truly epic. We all enjoyed it so much that next year we are thinking of taking on the 20 mile route.  A fantastic weekend with wonderful friends!!!

Judy Mccabe and Stuart Backhouse did the 20 mile route, They both did very well with Judy finishing 3rd overall  1st in age cat with a time of 3:00:54 And Stuart finishing 3rd in age cat with a time of 3:00:58!! Well done to you both.

Results

1 Sarah Blackwell       2:12:25 2nd in age cat

2 Tracey Dillon            2:12:25 2nd in age cat

3 Julie King                  2:12:25 1st in age cat

4 Elaine Parry             2:19:35 8th in age cat

5 Samantha Fancourt 2:19:35 5th in age cat

6 Charlotte Pacy         2:29:27 2nd in age cat

7 Rosie Eldridge          2:29:27 12th in age cat

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