No.4 – Larmer Tree Marathon, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire



Four down, sixteen to go !

My first trail Marathon, and the hardest race I’ve done. Up early to drive over on the morning for this one, and it looked to be favourable conditions from the off. Started a bit cold and misty, but as the day went on the sun came out and ended up being a glorious backdrop to a stunningly beautiful if not punishing course.

This was my first White Star race, and they do forewarn you that course measurement is approximate (!), so this ended up at just over 27 miles with over 2300ft of climbing. Guess I should’ve done some hill training then.




The course itself had dried out pretty well, with only a few patches where you faced the possibility of losing sight of your ankles. The route was well marked and the marshals did a great job of directing and encouraging. And the ‘Lovestations’ ….. wow, did I need those cakes at mile 22 (ish) !

Had some nice chats on the way round with fellow runners who’d taken notice of my t-shirt, which was a nice temporary distraction.


Probably due to my lack of hill training, and possibly due to a bit of tiredness I suffered with calf cramps a fair bit and had to stop on a number of occasions to stretch out and swear at the local wildlife …. and myself. I was relieved to get to the finish in four hours and twenty minutes.

Despite it being a painful experience on occasions, it was so nice to meet up with the lovely Abi from the amazing BCRC and her friend Emma. It was good to have company and moral support on this one, well done on your run Abi !


Larmer Tree Gardens and the surrounding area is a beautiful part of the world. If you’re looking to go for a nice gentle run one weekend don’t go there though !

DSC_7988 DSC_7990 Learning points :

  • Wiltshire contains mountains
  • I love the smell of wild garlic in the morning
  • ‘Lovestations’ stocked with cake should be compulsory at all races
  • I quite enjoy running off-road ….. hills not so much
  • My knees hate me
  • I need to get better at sleeping

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