I did my marathon (well, 25 miles) yesterday in 4 hours 56 minutes. It was sunny, but cold and windy. The route went around 6 reservoirs close to my house, so it was nice to learn new trails nearby. And some not-so-nice muddy trails, through cow pastures.
I had been looking forward to John O’Gaunts for a while, not least because the start was only a few minutes from my house, granting me a longer night of sleep and an easy drive home on sore legs. I was also excited because this would be the first run where I had some knowledge of the trails and perhaps would even get around without getting lost or going wrong.
The organizers could have called this race the tale of six reservoirs, instead of naming it after the local castle. Our route passed by Fewston, Swinsty, Thruscross, Beaver Dike, Lindley Wood, and Scargill reservoirs, in no particular order, plus a fair share of streams and rivers. It was nice to revisit trails I run every Thursday with the other Reservoir Runners around Fewstson and Swinsty, but also to continue on farther north and head up to Thruscross. I had been keeping pace with a couple of other women, and by my calculations we were leading the women’s race, but at the climb up and around Thruscross they pulled ahead, and I never saw them again. I slowed to my own pace, and was quite pleased to finish in just under 5 hours.