Beady eyed and tired I wondered how I was going to get through this race after the night before. But I knew I would. The Forest of Dean half marathon is a popular off-road spring half marathon. Apart from the first mile it winds its way through forest tracks, footpaths and old railway track. (There use to be a lot of mines in the forest)
As the organisers do not send out numbers it has to be collected on the day, which means queuing. Queuing seems to be the order of the day as the number of toilets seems to decrease this year. The organisers have stipulated three basic rules: no dogs, no pushchairs and the most controversial no headphones ( it’s against UK athletics rules) But despite my best efforts there was no way the runner in front was going to ditch them. I never understood this latest craze!
After the first mile I found myself on forest trails enjoying the serene and peaceful atmosphere of the forest. Broken by the occasional chirp of a bird and groups of spectators and marshals. The weather was also on our side with the sun peaking through the trees adding to that forest magic! One the thing the Forest of Dean is not is flat which makes the half marathon undulating but also adding to the challenge. Hills don’t bother me I just keep going, I think the worse thing to do is to stop and walk.