50/50 marathons

22. Larmer Tree Marathon

8th March 2020

Larmer Tree Marathon

As I write this, I’m on the 6 am ferry on a wet and windy Sunday morning, headed to take part in the Larmer Tree Marathon. I’m slightly panicked as the boat was late and my travel plans left no contingency for delay. I normally go over the night before, but for some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to get up at 5 am and drive up on the day! The race starts at 8:30 so I’m now keeping everything crossed that there are no more delays. More on that later.

White Star Running

So, this is my first White Star Running event. I’m interested to see if it lives up to the hype. They always appear to be popular events that sell out quickly. That must be a good sign. White Star always comes across as a good time company and the events have an almost festival air to them. That being said, it’s still a marathon and it’s still a wet and windy day in March, so we’ll see. The half marathon was yesterday so I’m expecting the course to be chopped up and slippery. Let’s see…

Made it with a half-hour to spare. There were delays in parking because the field was so boggy. When I got to registration, I found the race had been delayed by a half-hour, so no rush at all.

Larmer Tree Marathon
Larmer Tree Marathon

Quite a popular race this, loads of people for the marathon and also a 20-mile course. The race HQ was in the grounds of the Larmer Tree Gardens, very picturesque. We were eventually let lose at about 9. Then it was straight into a mud-fest. Not just a light coating, this was the type of mud that you saw in old Tarzan films where you run into it and never get out again. Amongst this thick sludge there were intervals of the slippy kind of mud that wants to impale you on a tree, or make you slip down the very high hills to your death! I found the going very slow, 1 step forward, several slips back. My Achilles were killing me.

I had my running app on silent so that I didn’t know how far I’d run. This is a psychological trick that can either be a pleasant surprise, or a total disaster when you do find out where you are. I found out at mile 17 when a jolly man ran past and told me we only had 10 miles to go, I felt sure I was at least in the final 6 miles. I ran behind him, cursing the back of his stupid head!

The route itself is set around the Rushmore Estate, nestled within Cranbourne Chase, an ancient deer forest in Tollard Royal near Salisbury. It really is a stunning area with breathtaking scenery. At one point I saw about 10 dears running like nutters towards us, one of them took a nasty tumble and got its throat caught in a wire fence. I made my way towards it with the intention of trying to release it, but luckily the site of a bloke covered in mud heading towards it caused it to get free on its own.

Larmer Tree Marathon
Larmer Tree Marathon

Worth the hard work

The hills were as brutal as I’d heard, so steep you could barely walk up them. All in all though a great race. The organisation is superb, a very friendly atmosphere and the aid stations have everything you could want to eat. Very hard, but generally enjoyable, well, as much as you can enjoy a marathon that is.

Next week takes me back to Eastbourne for the Endurancelife Sussex Trail Marathon. I believe it’ll be taking in some of the Beachy Head marathon route. Great! That was horrible!

If you’d be interested in doing the Larmer Tree Marathon, go and take a look at White Star Running. They have many races to choose from throughout the year.

Larmer Tree Marathon


Time taken





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.