Another farm, another county… this time East Farm, just outside Blandford in Dorset.
The Dorset Invader was the location of my first half marathon, 2 years ago, and after missing it last year due to work, I was back for another attempt. This time with Nic & Rob who were doing their first proper half marathons here as well.
There had been some route, land owner and other issues this year, so the course was different than what I’d seen before, the weather was also different, with it raining for most of the week, and especially during the marathon on Saturday, rumours from the course was that it was muddy, slippy… oh and had we mentioned a little bit long!
The start, in typical understated White Star fashion, was lead by a fully armoured Roman Centurion on horseback… as you do!
Following farm track out through the farm and across the only real road crossing of the day (thanks to Langport Runners Steve Small on road duties, just glaring at drivers to make them stop!) we hit the wooded single track, after a bit of a que to get over the stile, we progressed around the scenic course, dancing around or charging through mud and water, along a picturesque disused railway line, around fields and through some (lots) more mud.
Reaching what we thought was about halfway, Rob was excited to see what he thought was the infamous Lovestation, unfortunately it was only a normal aid station… no problem though only another 5k until the real thing, where we stocked up on water and gels….. er I mean beer, water melon and jelly babies, along with hugs and kisses from the lovestation lovelies.
The next few K’s flew by, and before we knew it we were back on the single track wooded are heading towards the road. With a ‘enjoy the hill’ chuckle from Steve we headed back into the farm, circling back around the farm to come in the opposite way, at just over 13 miles we hit the hill… it was short but steep, and the legs were protesting a bit but we slogged up it, ready for the final decent down into the finishing funnel.
With a couple of bonus Kilometres thrown in for free, we’d done it.. massive medal, ace goody bag including flapjack, jam and an invader muff, and a time of just over three hours.
well done to Nic and Rob who both smashed it on what was a tricky and tough course. And thanks to Andy, Gemma and all the WSR massive for making it so enjoyable.