50/50 marathons

8. Brett Owler Marathon

24th November 2019

Brett Owler Marathon

Another Saturday, another ferry! I haven’t been on this many ferries since I commuted. With the winter months nearly here, it’s all a bit dark and cold, making it hard to leave home on the Saturday to drive somewhere ready for the Sunday marathon. Plus the prospect of sleeping in the van is rapidly losing its appeal with the colder nights. But, I shouldn’t grumble, this is my choice, I always knew there would be times where I felt like this. I’ve also had proper marathon legs this week, feeling like lead and my ankle had really flared up after last weeks efforts at the Phoenix Riverside Marathon. But as I sit here now, on the ferry, my legs feel ok, so that’s good.

Tomorrow’s marathon is in Ashford, Kent. It’s called the Brett Owler, don’t ask me why, but I dare day there will be an owl on the medal. I think this is a mix of trail and road and it’s a 2 lap course, beyond that, I know nothing. I prefer to keep it as a surprise, plus it helps to stop me worrying in advance.

First I need to drive to the campsite. It’s raining out so not going to be fun! Bring it on.

Stayed at the Bearsted caravan park. Really nice, very clean. Even managed to sleep and stay warm.

The marathon start was at a place called Julie Rose Stadium. Aswell as the marathon distance they also had a 10k and half marathon. I think most people were there for the half, with only about 50 people doing the marathon.

The route headed straight out of the stadium and around a big lake. The first couple of miles were very boggy and slippery, so careful footing was key. The route then took in a mix of quiet roads and  more mud along byways. In the first few miles I recognised some chaps who I’d also seen at the Thames meander. They had a good steady pace so I stuck with them for a bit.

It was about 5 miles in that we hit ‘heartbreak hill’. It actually turned out to be a series of 4 hills that  just kept going up. Once at the top though, there was a nice downhill stretch. The route took us back to the stadium and there we turned around and did it all again.

The boggy bits were a quagmire second time around. By the turn around point I’d lost the pacers I’d stuck with, they kept stopping and I just wanted to plough on.

The second dose of the hills was so draining on the legs, but I still felt ok and had enough in the tank to push on for the final 6 miles.

I was surprised at how ok I felt, especially as I’d been out for an all day drinking session on the Thursday for Beaujolais day. I genuinely expected to suffer.

The final mile in was a slog through all the mud, but the sight of the stadium spurred me on to do a shambolic stagger around the track to cross the line. Just over 4 hours, so not too shabby.

All in all a nice marathon, even with the second lap. Nice scenic route, with good variation. The route was mapped out well and the marshals were generally good, apart from a few who clearly didn’t want to be there.

Next week heralds the first race of December and the obligatory Christmas themed Turkey and Tinsel Trot!

I guess I need to get festive.

If you’d be interested in running the Brett Owler Marathon in the future, take a look at Tri Spirit Events.

Brett Owler Marathon


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I am running these marathons to raise money for Mind. If you like what I’m doing and would like to donate you can go to my Just Giving page below.