Hey crazy lady, there's a bus right behind you!
Elevation Chart--Click to Enlarge
It might seem that I'm listing only negatives right now but there were some awesomely right things! There were an appropriate number of porta-loos at the start and they were some of the best ones I've seen at a race--not only were they clean, they also locked properly, you could "flush" and not have to look at the previous person's business, they were well stocked with the appropriate paper products, and you could wash your hands with soap! Ok, I might be gushing over-much about the loo situation but hey, this is something so rare it bears writing about!
Other good things: the course this year even though there weren't many marshalls was very well signposted and marked out, there were only a couple of times that I had to pause a second to figure out the route (very important if you didn't bring an OS map along). The checkpoint feed stations were amazing, very much like an ultra with the variety of foods available. Be warned though that there are only 5 checkpoints on the marathon course and one is a water station only and a couple in the middle are spaced quite far apart. Next year I think I might consider Nordic Walking the 15 mile option so I can partake of the massive cream tea stop!
Belvoir Challenge 2015 Course Map
Now onto my day...the wheels pretty much fell off for me thanks to a sensitive tummy. I had to make 3 loo stops, 2 of which were sans loo. Thankfully the third time I was able to make it to the checkpoint (Checkpoint 4) and not have to try to go off the course to find trees or a hedgerow to hide behind. Wish I could say that took care of everything but my stomach continued to roil for the rest of the distance in a most unpleasant way. I also had a few too many sideways slips in the mud and the same leg I tried to do the sideways split with at the Bakewell BDL XC started acting up around mile 7 and continued to get worse from there. I was almost in tears when it came time for the course to split off and I had to turn right for the 26 and nearly everyone else went left.
Hello Finish Line!
My favourite photo of the day