Fox Marathon

Race Date: Saturday, 19/09/2020
Race Distance: Marathon

The Fox Way is a 39 mile circular walk around Guildford, not long-enough established to be found on OS maps. I'd come across the symbols (a fox wearing a crown) on signposts while following other routes in the area, & then recently heard there was a race along it. In fact, four events took place on the same day: an ultra (full distance), ultra relay, marathon, and half marathon. I signed up for the marathon in August as a training run for the upcoming Run to the Sea. Naturally my niggles, which had disappeared under the regularity of run-as-you-feel lockdown training, promptly reemerged and cut the amount of running I was able to do, but I decided to give the event a go as a run-walk. The marathon started at Clandon Park; pandemic precautions were observed, we were given 2- minute slots for registration, baeed on predicted finishing times (to reduce overtaking), and were set off at short intervals. At each aid station they had hand sanitiser & we were asked to wear face coverings when approaching the tables, which were increasingly well-stocked as we went on (fresh fruit, gherkins, energy bars and sandwiches at the last couple). It's a couple of years since I've done a marathon but true to form, the aches and pains I experienced on the day were new and interesting: right from the start, a new pain lit up behind my left knee and eventually (around 22 miles) the running intervals were just too painful. I strode grimly on in the heat, reminding myself that it was only 5 miles, and that I'd had to walk 14 miles in my last marathon. With a couple of miles to go, I was overtaken by three runners who didn't then pull away quickly, so I tried jogging again and found the pain more manageable, to the extent of overtaking them all to finish. 27.22 miles by my watch.