Mark and I spent last week across the Atlantic with his grandparents and their British friends in Southwest England. We had a great time in this mostly rural part of the country. So much fun in fact, that I couldn’t fit it all into one post!
On our first real day in England, we got to see Stonehenge, Britain’s most iconic archeological site. I won’t go into the details on the history and landscape (that’s what Google.com and guidebooks are for)- but I will say that this 5,000-year-old structure is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the UK.
Often flooded with tourists, we happened to visit on a rainy day which filtered out the crowds. We skipped the tour given the weather, and read up on the history at the visitor center and guidebooks.
On the next day, I ran a trail marathon and Mark ran the half in the English countryside held by the Andover Trail Runners. Here are my quick takeaways:
- I’m always reminded how running while traveling is a fabulous way to explore the area, and racing in a new location allows you to meet some new people and get in a workout that’s already been organized. This was the case with this race. The gorgeous scenery we ran around included rolling fields and meadows as well as several tiny medieval streets and villages. Part of the course was along the Test Way, which was an old Roman road. Quite a scenic route for this Bostonian, and a race I won’t ever forget!
Views along the course:
- Trail running is so much fun, and I found this race to be a great way to mix it up from my fledging summer running routine. The scenery is distracting in a positive, motivational way, and the race was fairly social as well. Here are other reasons why I think trail running is great!
Photo credit: Andover Trail Runners
- The freedom that trail running brings also requires careful attention to the race and trail markers. Around mile 22, I happened to be third woman overall and was feeling fairly confident that I could maintain this place until the end. However, when I stopped focusing on the trail and more about the next woman a few minutes behind me, I missed a trail marker and ended up running a half mile out of the way, up a big hill. When I got to the top of the hill, I noticed that there were no runners nearby. I began to worry as I quickly realized that I had run the wrong way, but there was nothing much I could do besides turn around and finish as best I could. I reminded myself once again that we are all doing this for FUN, and proceeded to finish fourth woman overall. Regardless of the mistake, I loved this adventurous race, and Mark enjoyed his first trail race as well!
Showing off my bib number at the finish:
I am glad to be back home and settled before a quick getaway for a family wedding in Maine. Congrats to Elizabeth and Frank! I am looking forward to blogging more regularly as we move into the slightly quieter fall and winter months. Stay tuned for more posts on our trip to England and the trip to Maine for the wedding!
Trail runners: have you missed a course mark during the race? I know this happens (read: Jim Walmsley at Western States 2016)– but I want to hear your stories!
What are you currently training for? I’m reading lots of posts on Chicago, NYC, Baystate, and other races. GOOD LUCK and let me know how training is going! I am currently training for Wineglass in New York- excited to be running with some friends!
If you’ve been to England, what’s your favorite spot?
Have a Happy Friday and a great weekend :)