This race was the reason why I got a season ticket for all the White Star Running races. The Giant’s Head Marathon was sold out in December and I REALLY wanted to do it. The only way to guarantee the entry was a season ticket and this is how I accidentally got myself into running consecutive marathons.

 

The time leading up to the marathon was like a series of unfortunate events:

  • My hay fever was extremely bad.
  • I kicked my little toe so hard that it went a funny colour and was slightly more to the side than I’d like it to be.
  • A mysterious rash appeared all over my body, it was itchy and annoying – it later turned out to be non-infectious and harmless, pointless really…

 

Finally the week at work was done and on Friday, Jamie and I set off in the direction of Dorchester. We got to Sydling around 8 p.m. and set up at the camp site. Just look at the backdrop that Andy (race director) ordered for us!

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When everything was ready we went for a pint and relaxed chatting to some other runners 🙂

 

After a night in the tent we woke up to a fresh but sunny morning and went to the Village Hall for breakfast. Porridge and coffee – that was just what I needed!

There were so many familiar faces, which added up to the great atmosphere of this event. Tara was there in her brand new Wonder Woman outfit. Whoop!

After the race briefing we all lined up on the road waiting for a signal to start.

Andy waved us off and after a short road section we were in the wilderness. And why not start with a hill? The views were already very pretty even though we didn’t gain much height.

We were running through fields with rolling hills and sheep dotted around.

Most of us had a ‘pull my clapper’ moment 😀

And surely enough we quite quickly got to another hill. Well… this was a serious hill, we all enjoyed it.

First water station was very festive, who doesn’t like a bit of Hula.

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The terrain was really difficult on foot and you had to watch your step, but the views from the top of that hill were stunning, so I was trying to divide my attention between looking where I was going and admiring the scenery.

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It was good to see that people were taking the theme of this run very seriously.

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Another water station was the 10K split point, I was considering just following that route. For some reason it felt tougher than it should have at that point.

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And then we got to the pretty fields. I took this picture of Tara and shortly before she face planted the ground…

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Apparently she tends to fall over and I think she has perfected her falls. I would probably have been in tears, but Tara simply, stood up, shook the dust off and carried on. Impressive!

 

We got to a downhill bit and far away in the distance we could already see the penis man aka Cerne Abbas Giant! You probably can’t even see it. Trust me, he was there 🙂

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We were very excited to spot it and thought that this was as close as we were going to get to it. But No! There was more!

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The terrain was tricky but the views were beautiful.

And then there was another water station with super helpers. Look at all the cuteness:

And Bryan was there as well.

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We carried on through woodlands and fields going up and up and up.

Some runners didn’t believe that we will get to run downhill ever again…

But there it was, we were going down now, weeeeee!

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And then there was Nikkii with a massive…

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We signed it and I got my knee licked by a dog (hee hee hee, I love dogs!)

The next bit was through a thicket!

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Downhill (fun as always)

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Through a village with a pretty stream

And another view!

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And another tough bit.

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But then we reached a water station – mini break and cake! Yum!

Then a long stretch through fields.  It was tougher and tougher… but then I saw Ivor. I met Ivor when I was running the Queen Elizabeth Park Spring Marathon with D!

 

Another hill, this is when I met Lisa, she’s in the picture with Ulen. More about her later 🙂

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More hills and more views, I was struggling a lot at this point!

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At the next water station we met Shiny Happy Runners (there’s a group on Facebook): Louise and Julius dressed up as super people 🙂

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Then there was some mud but soon we got to a road bit with an amazing downhill. I was so happy (more about the downhill than the road)

But then the road lead to the famous Badger Man! If you run White Star Running races then you know who I’m talking about, if you don’t, sign up and find out 🙂 He is truly awesome and gives out hugs, but that’s a surprise.

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Another uphill. Yes, it’s a chance to walk but I was really struggling then… I was thinking that maybe this is just too hard. Maybe this was the day when I wasn’t going to complete my race… But then when a picture moment comes up, you just smile!

And then there was this field of cows and it distracted me from dying. Both Tara and I were a bit conscious of her really bright red, ‘chase me’ outfit. However we survived, the cows didn’t want to kill us 😀 and a LoveStation was just around the corner – double lucky! 10km to go!

Tara and I split shortly after, as she was accompanying someone who was struggling and I had to carry on otherwise i would have dropped out :/

Thank you Tara, you are a Wonder Woman!

And then I met Lisa again and it rained but it was fun.

To be honest, it was more of the same, massive uphills and tough terrain and gorgeous views and I was struggling even more than before, but somehow it was all going quicker.

Lisa and I engaged in conversation and the kilometres just went so quickly.

All of a sudden (nearly 10km later) we had 400m to go! And it was all downhill! Magic!

We crossed the finish line together and got our medals.

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Look at our medals!

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It was Lisa’s first marathon, what an achievement! Congratulations! You were awesome and thank you for all your help 🙂

Then Jamie and I compared our medals (Jamie smashed the 10K!) and had all the food (the WI cooked for us): Veggie burgers and ice cream.

After the dust settled, I noticed another dog (!) so I went to have a cuddle and that’s how Jamie and I accidentally adopted Beacon for 15 minutes and met her owners: Sorrel and Danny.

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We ended up spending the evening together and having lovely food that the WI had cooked for us (again). Julius joined us later and we ended up talking and drinking cider most of the evening.

Later there was a barn dance and Andy made a lovely speech, thanking EVERYONE 🙂

The organisation of the event and the marshals were amazing as always, the Village of Sydling was gorgeous and the people were soooooo lovely! We felt so welcome there and everyone was extremely friendly and helpful.

Can’t wait for next year!

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