On Saturday I ran the Great Barrow Marathon, 26.7 miles on an out and back mixed terrain course from Barrow in Suffolk through Risby with the turnaround point in Fornham All Saints, taking in the rolling hills of the lovely Suffolk countryside.
This was a social distancing event with all the appropriate measures in place. There were seven start times at 20 minute intervals, the first being 7.20 and the last 9.20. I started at 8.20. Each wave had around 6-8 runners. You had to stay in your car until about 20 minutes before your start time when you could use the allocated toilets (no queues!) and pick up your number. There were no marshals or manned water stops.
The route was marked with black arrows and you had to ensure you didn't miss any as it was not a straight course and you could easily go the wrong way, especially as you were on your own for the majority of the run until you saw some of the returning runners.
This was a two-day event and as of last Saturday these marathons are now being recognised by the 100 Marathon Club. I had the privilege to see Andy Wilmott receive his award plaque for having completed his 800th marathon – unfortunately there were only four of us around for the presentation, but an amazing achievement for a true legend in running.
I was struggling a bit in the last four miles and so took some walking breaks, but managed to finish in 4.50. Their next event will be the first weekend of September. Lots of different routes, including a new one called The Gallops which I have been told is one of the hilliest!