New Forest Festival of Running

A short drive from Lymington into the forest, the runners arrived with an hour to spare for the marathoners to collect their numbers. It was chilly as they performed their last minute preparations and tried to avoid the dreaded group warm up! 

9am and Glen and Holly were off …. Holly on her 1st, Glen on the 7th of his 12 in 12 months challenge. Having been sidelined for 2 whole months after a cricket ball rocketed into his kneecap, he was back playing catch up after very little training. 

“I knew this was going to be tough after such a frustrating couple of months, but I had to give it a go”

Out they went from the Polo Ground, the unknown being a factor for both of them. 

It wasn’t long before Stuart Holloway, Jane Andrew and Carolyn Littleton set off in the half, following the same dry and dusty forest paths as the marathoners had for the first 9 miles before turning back for home.

As they morning wore on, the temperatures rose and a glorious blue sky prevailed. The dusty tracks were swapped with country roads passing wild ponies along the way.

Stuart made tidy work of the half as he returned to the show ground in a nifty 97 minutes, so much so that the support crew of the terrible twins, Holmsie and Zoe Elliot missed him! Carolyn was all smiles as she made her way down the finishing straight and over the line in a cracking PB.

“I’ve had a brilliant day” she beams “That was only my third half so I am chuffed to bits to take 2 mins off my time. Lovely scenic course and friendly marshalls”

Jane was unbelievably not too far behind. Having broken her shoulder and suffered, (still suffering) severe tissue damage after a bike accident just a few weeks previously. She’d only run a couple of times and nowhere near the distance. She returned to collect her medal 52 minutes under her target time.

Holly was next to emerge along the dusty track toward the finish. Looking a picture of total control, she cruised her way to a phenomenal debut time of just over 3 hours and 33 minutes, giving her 11th overall and a coveted Good For Age qualifying time. What a way to make an entrance onto the marathon circuit! 

“It was amazing to cross the finish line! I was absolutely over the moon with the time!”

Before long, Glens white visor appeared in the distance and a relieved support crew screamed support as he came past, glad that his knee held out and his 12 in 12 challenge was well and truly back on.

“I struggled a bit from halfway, the lack of training took its toll. But even though it felt hard I pushed on to the end”

Time for a quick drink in front of the live band in the sunshine soaking up the festival atmosphere. Good day had by all!

Half Marathon 

Steve Holloway – 1.27.29

Carolyn Littleton – 2.08.46

Jane Andrew – 2.08.46


Holly Newton – 3.33.16

Glen Jones – 04.23.09