This is the third time we’ve entered the Antonine Trail Race. You can read the previous reports, including race description, here (2017) and here (2018).
This year the challenge was to run faster and try and best two hours, a challenge made much harder by forgetting my watch. D’oh! It’s very hard to race against the clock when you forget the clock!
The race is well organised with a good t-shirt, an environmentally friendly water policy (bring your own bottle), decent grub at the finish and a route that provides a decent off road challenge along with some cracking views along the front of the Campsies. And, for those that love mud, it provides more mud than a tabloid journalist. Though I have to confess that most of that mud might have come from an unexpected detour.
“Do you know where we’re going?” I asked Iain.
“Yes,” he said, “there’s another runner up ahead.”
The only runner I could see was off to one side, through a bank of trees and running along what appeared to be a nice dry path. We were running in the middle of a field that could had so much water it could only be used to grow rice.
My foot disappears into the earth. Euuugh!
“Who are you following?” I ask.
“Him,” says Iain, pointing at man in the wood.
“That what are we doing running across a field!?”
“He must have taken the wrong way!”
Someone took the wrong way, and I don’t think it was the man in the wood!
A couple of miles later we see another man with a number on his chest run towards us.
“I went the wrong way,” he said, “took a little detour!”
Which just goes to show it can happen to anyone, and we weren’t the only ones to end up in the wrong place, however it was ever so slightly dispiriting to find that even with his detour he then overtook us and ran over the horizon. Lapped by someone going the wrong way, that’s a new first.
Despite that, we finished in under two hours and I was happy to finish with a new personal best.