THE INAUGURAL CHILTERN WONDERLAND IS A 50 MILE SINGLE LOOP AROUND THE BEAUTIFUL CHILTERN COUNTRYSIDE. THE ROUTE TAKES IN 5800FT OF CLIMB AND VISITS PICTURESQUE VILLAGES, BURSTING WITH HISTORY, FEATURING LOCATIONS MADE FAMOUS BY BRITISH FILM & TELEVISION. THIS EVENT IS RACE 3 IN THE 50 MILE 2016 GRAND SLAM.
After finishing a 12hr shift at work and checking the roads to Reading, I decide to stay over in Horsham at the parents. I had paid a saver rate at the Premier Inn Caversham Bridge, but would rather the good night sleep, than sat hours in traffic. Then leave early morning for Goring-On-Thames.
It takes 1hr 35min to reach my destination without any problems. I park further down a side street as the carpark I am familiar with is already full by 8am.
I catch up with the friendly Louise at the kit check, then collect my race number. I have already found Marina and her sister Max.
Finish bag dropped in I can then relax and catch up with Tim, John, Nick, Kevin and Sharon. All 50 Grand Slammers!
After the race briefing we all meet at the Goring and Streatley Bridge, where the route will first follow the Thames Path towards Wallingford.
The Autumn 100 is in four weeks time, so I didn't want to use today as an A race of mine. I have done some extra overtime the past few weeks, so do not feel my body is rested enough to go out hard.
I am going on feel today and focusing on the markers in the hope of staying on the route. I have not practiced any of this new course.
By 9am sharp we all run along the narrow tow path, bottle neck through the gates until reaching the open grass along the river bank.
I chat with John the first few miles and stay close by to him, until I soon realise he has dropped back behind me...
Once through Pangbourne and onto some fast and flat roads, John is no longer nearby. I am feeling fresher in the legs than I thought, so just go with it.
I try to stay a comfortable 8:30min/mile pace where I can and power walk the hilly sections.
I use my carry cup for a few cups of water and no need to fuel on anything just yet, so I make for a quick in and out.
All the other runners seem to be doing this also, as already plenty have overtook me...
At checkpoint two in Bix
I am so chuffed to see them...
Alma is part of the team here. I knew she would be at one of the checkpoints but wasn't sure which. It is always good to get a hug and warm welcome.
Starting the big climb 24 miles in.
Still smiling at the top and a warm welcone from Steve March (Photographer)
Heading to Grims Ditch
My Close Up
Ranking From Checkpoints Two, Three and Four
The Finishing Tee, The Bling and Race Bib
Leader Board Results
The Impressive Elevation Climbs
John Fitzgerald Finishes in 9:51:21 in 63rd
Marina Bullivant Finishes in 10:17:54 in 77th
Sharon Dickson Finishes in 10:19:19 in 78th