Remember the old Gerry Lee Lewis song “you leave me breathless-ah”. Well Gerry and Ashbourne have a lot in common.
About 170 of us lined up on the recreation field in Ashbourne which is in the Peak District National Park. I’ve done this c12 times now so I should have known better but the 1st mile is all uphill. I glanced round at the top to wave good bye (and good riddance) to Ashbourne to find that the only moving bodies behind me were car bodies so a finish in the top 170 was just about on the cards.
Then the road went downwards (well sort of) for a mile then it was all climbing uphill ‘till the 5 mile mark. By this time we were in the stunning Peak District with peaks, ridges and open spaces all around us. By 6 miles were almost at the same height as a bunch of hang gliders circling above us but cadging a lift was not on. The views got better and then the road descended slightly where we crossed the river Dove to be told by a marshal that the hills up to 8 “were to die for”. I replied that I had died 11 times before at this place and he joked that there is life after death then.
At last the 8 mile mark and we at the highest point and we were running back towards Ashbourne with no more peaks or real hills in sight. Again the roads were quiet and the scenery fabulous. Usually is when you look down on everything.
Finally we arrived in town but the 12 mile mark was some way off but what a lovely town to meander through on a Sunday to the finish back at the rec. ground.
So another real toughie and it took me nearly a quarter of an hour longer to do than the 1st half of last week’s Wolves marathon.
Good grounding for yesterdays Hereford marathon that’s quite flat in comparison. Note that Steve Damms-no crying off!
Dave Phillips 2.34.
Race report by Dave Phillips.