England Adventure- Part 1

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. 

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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.

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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:img_0511

Photo credit: Andover Trail Runnersimg_0508

  • 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:img_0509

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!

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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 :)

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20 thoughts on “England Adventure- Part 1”

    1. Thank you for the tip!! I’ll have to check that area out if I’m lucky enough to go back! I am in awe of the amount of gorgeous hiking and running trails your country has- an endless supply! Have a great weekend and let me know if you hit up any new trails!

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  1. We just spent the last 14 months in the UK. Its home for us and were craving some time there (you can read about our time and favorite places on my blog page!). We were just down the road from Stonehenge. I don’t think I ever got tired of seeing it. History at its finest!

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  2. Lovely post, well done on fourth lady in what you turned into an ultra! :-) Running on holiday’s is something I’m trying to do more of, I took part in a charity half (Penny Marathon) in my first day of my holidays in Greece a couple of months back – great experience, but very hot!
    You are right, there are loads of beautiful places to run in the UK, one close to me (Leicestershire, to the middle of England) is Bradgate Park and Swithland wood – a wrote a short description of my latest run in there in my blog under: https://aosisifos.wordpress.com/2016/08/24/back-in-the-park/

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  3. It seems on the surface like such an easy question to answer, but I find it impossible. Stonehenge is amazing, but so is Warwick Castle. There there is Bath and the list goes on and on, such as Stratford on the Avon, or even what they call Sherlock’s home on Baker Street, or the Tower. Perhaps, the British Museum might be my choice or just walking on the streets of London.

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  4. This race sounds amazing! I love that you two ran half and full marathons while on vacation – so epic to have run an English countryside trail race. You go, chasing those world-running adventures! :)

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  5. Great photos from your trail run. I have run envy! Looking forward to more updates. I’m doing the Vert Fells Fest in Stoneham this Sunday, 5 or 10 mi trail runs. Beer afterwards! Check it out :) if you don’t make it no worries I will be are to be recapping on my blog. happy running!

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  6. I love trail races. Rock and I were just discussing signing up for a trail 25K. We are excited. As you said, it does require more focus and I like that. You are far less worried about mile markers and much more on top of where you are running and every foot fall. Congrats on a great run!

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  7. Sounds like one hell of a way to start a vacation. Well done on the run. I haven’t read the article on Walmsley yet, my Trailrunner Magazine just arrived today, but I know how it feels to be out for hours and in the Fog. I wrote a post last year I think after a race in which I talked about trail runners having a higher power guiding them towards safety. I certainly felt that way considering I stopped paying close attention to where I was going, but always ended up in the right place.

    I’m happy to hear you are safe and had such a successful run. Looks like you two had a great time!

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    1. Hey, thank you so much! Any fall races in your pipeline? I’ve been taking a bit of time off from blogging, so sorry if I missed your update! Hope your training has gone well and I’m looking forward to catching up on this soon!

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