Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Stonehenge Stomp

The Stonehenge Stomp is an event run by Amesbury Walkers. At a tiny cost of £2 to enter, a whole array of walkers and runners turn up to have a bash at 10, 20, 30 or 40 kilometres. I’d heard rumours from previous participants that it’s a very worthwhile event if you enjoy a bit of off road running and that there would be food stops a-plenty.

Ruth was very happy about all the
different flavours of squash..
On arrival at registration, I saw a very mixed bunch of fellow stompers. There were hardcore, old school walkers with big canvas gaiters and sticks, very agile looking, lean runners in short shorts, dog walkers who looked like they’d gotten lost, endurance runners in fluorescent jackets loaded up with hydration packs, teenagers with rucksacks bigger than themselves out practicing for their Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and excited children who clearly had no idea what their parents had in store for them.
You’re given a little card that is stamped at each control point and a set of written instructions. Ruth, my running buddy for the morning and I set off with really no idea where we were going. Fortunately, the signage was good and for the first few miles we tagged along with a lady who had run the course before.

Shortly after leaving the leisure centre we were off road and up onto some lovely, mucky tracks. Ruth immediately found puddles to jump into right next to me and before I could even attempt to seek out a huge one and get my revenge, we had arrived at the first control point. Bowls of sweets and biscuits awaited us along with a selection of fruit squash beverages. The lemon in particular was very refreshing!
I don't care what the biscuits are.. I'll still
eat them!

I almost felt naughty hitting the biscuits after running only 5k, but it was freezing cold and we had already run up some hills so I felt sort of justified. Onward we stomped, up more hills, over stiles and through muddy fields. Only another 3.5k later and we’d hit another control point, I managed some very impressive self control at this one and steered clear of the biscuits, scoffing only a small mouthful of sweets.

I don’t know whether it was the new and varied terrain, the endless conversation or the frequent stops to eat treats, but at the final control point we realized we only had about 4km left to run and both of us felt like we hadn’t really been running for very long at all. For a brief moment I almost thought I could have run the 30k, then I came to my senses and eradicated this thought with ginger nut biscuits. Sugared up, we ran off to finish the last few kilometres.

I hope Amesbury Walkers keep letting runners come to their event s; they’re a wonderfully friendly bunch and were very cheery given that they were stood out for hours in the cold at the control points. Running event organisers should take heed.. more biscuits and sweets please!

1 comment:

  1. Your one tough little egg. Uncle D. XX .