Having run the course in its entirety last year, Pat Harris decided to make it into a team outing this year by gathering together 12 to run as 3 relay teams. Pat alongside Stu Backhouse, Caroline Curliss, Giorgio Marinelli, Tanya Clifford, Jess Hill, Sarah Sharp, Bridget Keyte, Alison Butcher, Tracey Houdoire and Zoe Sherwin all took the trip over the water along with friend Samantha Staples to embark on this historic track.
They weren’t the only ones going over, as speedster Ross Wilkes took on the challenge of the full course.
This point to point Marathon follows the Clarendon Way from Salisbury to Winchester. As picturesque as it is challenging, this ancient track of trail and footpath and is largely unchanged from the days it was used to transport the Kings and Queens of England across the county. The course is virtually all off road with some hefty elevation thrown in along the way, just to make those narrow footpaths even more difficult to tackle after the previous day’s rainfall.
Beginning at Wyvern College in Salisbury, the relay and the marathon kick off together.
The first leg is 10.5km, winding its way through the Clarendon Estate before continuing through the villages of Pitton and Middle Winterslow where the first changeover of the relay’s “batons” ie wristbands takes place.
Here waiting were Caroline, Bridget and Giorgio , ready to take on the next 10.4km of the journey. Following a large section of the Roman Road, this leg heads toward the halfway point at Broughton.
It was here that Sarah, Alison and Stuart were waiting to tackle the toughest and longest leg of the relay. 12.3km of some hefty climbs faced them as they crossed the River Test and on to Kings Somborne and upto Farley Mount where Pat, Tracey and Zoe were patiently waiting to bring the teams home in style. The shortest leg at 9km this section also has a decent bit of descent as they drop down into the historic city of Winchester and across the finish line at Kings School.
In the full marathon Ross absolutely smashed it.
Despite only running a marathon 4 weeks ago, he annihilated the hills to finish in 3.57.15.
“That was as hilly as hell right until the end haha! I enjoyed it, there were beautiful views but it was very tough”
Yet another brilliant result for this talented all rounder.