A Journey of a 1000 miles starts with a single step

Compton 40 2013 Compton 40 - 2008

This year was the best conditions that I have run this race in but also my slowest time!

We were greeted by a cold and clear morning at 6am when we got up for the drive to Compton.  We were picking up a friend on the way who was going to Oxford with Janet while I ran the 40 miles, they thought it was a better option!

There had been an announcement earlier in the week that to due to flooding in the second half, the 40 mile race would be 2 laps of the 20 mile course. This would mean the 16km flat section out through Chilton and the Hendreds was replaced with the first undulating 16km.  This meant an additional 150m of ascent this year.

The odd thing that I found was, that despite having run this route 4 times before, I recognised very little of it.  The only part that had stuck in my memory was up the hill and through the woods before Streatley.

Initial parts of the route were reminiscent of parts of the start of the Marlborough Downs Challenge, so this could be a factor. In the first 20 miles there are always people in sight but in the 20-40 miles I quite often have none in vision so have been more aware of where turnings, etc are, so maybe I have remembered the route better.

I would have been fairly easy to take the easy option at 20 miles, to just go into the school, but one of the marshals, who I had run this with in 2006, said ‘I’ll see you next time around’.

Second time around was psychologically easier because I now knew where on the route I was but physically it has a lot harder.  I walked a lot more of the second lap where I had no problem running the same section 3.5 hours before.

It took me an hour longer to run the second 20 miles.  On the usual 40 mile course it normally takes me a bit longer but not this much longer, perhaps and indication of the extra ascent, or maybe a reflection of my lack of training preparedness for this.  I had done one run of 18 miles but all my other runs have been no more than 6 miles for the last year.

Despite my lack of training and the hillier route it was a great day out, the weather could not have been better, it was dry and firm underfoot and the marshals did a great and supportive job.   Thank you Compton Harriers.