October was a busy month for Alton Runners marathon runners and ultra-marathon runners with club members taking part in 6 varied events.
Two members of Alton Runners travelled to South America in October to take part in the Galapagos Islands Marathon and managed to take first place in both the men’s and women’s races. The marathon course starts at 574 meters above sea level on the highest part of the paved road which crosses the island and ends at a small beach in the main town. The course is run on asphalt, cement, inlaid blocks or dirt road and passes spots where occasionally there are grazing wild giant tortoises and lounging sea lions. On the island where Charles Darwin developed his evolutionary theories the overall winner of the race and first placed woman was Diane Byrne of Alton Runners. In second place and first placed man was Diego Maldonado also of Alton Runners.
The second race in the Southern Cross Country League took place on 8th with at Queen Elizabeth Country Park.
The day was overcast with light drizzle which was very different to the last few years where the weather has been sunny. Over 500 runners took part and before the start of the race a minutes silence took place to mark remembrance Sunday. The race got off to a slippery start on the exposed wet chalk track, but after a while the course turned off this track to start a long climb.
After the climb the route took a turn to go through the forest where you had to watch out for tree roots, mud and flint stones. The mud was quite thick after all the recent rain. There were a couple of more undulations before the route took a big ascent, which was a struggle for the runners.
However after this section the runners had to go down narrow paths which lead to the edge of the finishing field, but you had to go around the edge before coming into the field for the finish.
The old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”
From 5k to 21k (in my case)
I am fast, I am slow,
Sometimes my legs just won’t go,
Not enough training, not enough sleep,
NO.. for me it’s all about staying on my feet.
Driving a car with the handbrake on,
That is my running it takes me so long,
Dragging my leg that does not bend,
But that is my running until the end.
The first race of the Southern Cross Country League took place on 11th October at Pamber Forest, near Tadley. The day was very pleasant after a cold start and there was a little sunshine towards the end to help.
The Pamber Forest route is perhaps the flattest of this season’s 7 races in the series, with only the one hill to combat and that was a bit of sting in the tail as it was at the end. A five mile route starting in a field, the runners enjoyed a downhill start which ended up onto a gravel path into the forest. The path was straight, but after half a mile the path turned from gravel to a mud track and was easy to navigate this year as there has been a lack of rain. This track carried on for another half mile after which the runners came out into a field.