The Final Picnic Marathon, 1st July
Report by Paul Alexander
Paul Alexander headed south for the “Final Picnic Marathon” on Sunday to take on the last ever staging of the very challenging off-road marathon course based around Box Hill which is billed as the toughest marathon distance in Britain. This unique race followed a double out-and-back course with the race organiser having shoe-horned in as many climbs he could find in the area to sum up to 7125ft over the marathon distance which also included a series of difficult stone steps climbs. Of 120 who started, Paul, fought his way to 27th place in 5h 57mins in temperatures close to 30C to claim his much deserved medal and free raw carrot at the finish followed by the wonderful picnic on offer to refuel! Around 30 runners did not manage to complete the course through missing the halfway cut off time or pulling out. The race winner was Alan Smalls of Colchester in 4h 37mins whilst the ladies race winner was unattached runner Charley Jennings in 5h 30mins.