Andy H reports….
The Neolithic Marathon starts at Avebury in Wiltshire and ends up near Stonehenge. About 200 people run the marathon and it’s a very friendly and relaxed event; it doesn’t really feel like a race. This was fourth or fifth time I have ran it and can honestly say I have enjoyed it each time (I don’t say that about many marathons). There is also a walking event over the same course so throughout you have people to exchange pleasantries with! I left my car at the end and caught the coach to Avebury – it seemed a very long way. I am not sure if that’s because I was fretting about how long I had to run or because I needed the loo!
It’s a multi-terrain event and the worst of the hills are in the first half. There’s an off-road hill that starts at mile two and reaches the top at mile four. If you dare look up the scenery is fantastic. The next hill is at about eleven miles and then you are on Salisbury plain. The second half is mostly along undulating tank tracks. The 24th and 25th mile were quite hard because they were gently uphill but it was a nice run downhill to the finish.
It was fairly firm underfoot and even where there was big puddles you could find away around rather than plough through the middle. It was a cool but sunny day. If I was being picky the wind could have been in the other direction; it was South Westerly so it was in our face most of the way and we certainly felt it on Salisbury plain.
I was trying not to worry about the time and only looked at my watch at half way (1hr 59m) and at the end, showing 3hrs 56mins. I was pleased with that not least since I ran the second half quicker than the first which is very unusual for me and I ran with smile on my face which is unheard of for me. I finished 36th overall and was 7th Male Vet. More importantly though it was just a great day out. This is certainly an event I would recommend – one for the CRC race series next year?!