Wimborne Athletic Club

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Stonehenge Stomp 31 January 2010

Craig Dixon reports. 

When training for a marathon the weekend long runs are the key. After a few years of running I have exhausted all the routes around Wimborne and QE so when Andy Horsley mentioned the Stonehenge Stomp as a training run it had to be done.

The event (not a race) is organised by the Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA) and starts at Amesbury Sports Centre. It is an organised run or walk and had 10, 20, 30 and 40k options.  The start for walkers was from 8am and for runners was not before 9.15. 

Pete, Andy and I were doing the 40k route with the option to cut it short to 30k if we were struggling. As I had run at Parliament Hill the day before this was a possibility. At 7.30am when Andy left his house the temperature was showing at -7 degrees and was a warm -5 when he arrived at the sports centre.

The run started at 9.15 with the most low-key start to a non-race I had ever done. We wandered outside and decided it was just past 9.15 so headed off with a couple of other runners following the instructions given out with the 2 race fee . . . yes that was 2!!!

The route was well marked all the way round and we did not need to refer to the instructions once.  The run took us out of a housing estate and onto a mixture of trails and fields. The route was slightly more undulating than Andy sold to us but nothing major to report. There were checkpoints every 5 or 7k with water, squash, sweets and biscuits. At each checkpoint you have to get your card stamped before you move on so there are welcome breaks all throughout the run. 

The route twice took us past Stonehenge and through a couple of little villages.  There was no support, or bands playing, or timings, or even official start and finish line but as a training run it ticked all the right boxes.  We finished the 24.6 mile route in just under 4 hours and headed into the sports centre to let the organisers know we had arrived and to get a well-earned bacon butty and cup of tea.

In summary, keep your eye out for events like this as they are well organised, cheap and make great training runs.                  http://www.btinternet.com/~amesburywalkers/page6.html


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