Somehow it had already been years since I first met and ran with Lauren! We’d been trying to arrange another run for that whole time and finally met again and headed to the Malvern hills. It was an early start and Lauren kindly picked me up from a station and drove us to the hills. We were straight into a parking space in a car park only to realise it was a maximum two hour stay. That won’t do. Thankfully there are loads of car parks along the route we’d plotted and we found another with ease.
Once we’d relocated we started the first climb and joined the route slightly further along from what we planned. We started with two climbs which would would coming handy as we’d backed up all the main hills for the end of the route. Ticking some off now we would surely be grateful for later on! The views were incredible. The 10am sun glistening over the Cotswolds in one direction and the distant Black mountains of Wales in the other. We knew straight away this would be a great day.
Our route was a circular ‘marathon’ route. Predominately based on the Malvern midsummer marathon route with a few tweaks of our own to spend less time on roads and get a few more hills in. After we descended off the Malvern hills we soon started to go wrong. A wrong turn here a wrong turn there. Constantly we’d be going the wrong way. It was confusing. Over grown paths, styles into fields with no exits etc. This was to become the story of the day.
Half way round we stopped at a Tesco for a refuel and a sit down. I tucked into my potato and rissole packed lunch. Awesome. We sat and chatted to an old geezer in a church yard who was collecting Pokemon. As you do.
Back out on route the continuation of the adventure took on new difficulties with many more wrong turns. A ridiculously over grown path that tore our legs to shreds. With itchy, stingy legs we then stumbled upon ‘bitch slap field’. A corn field with no clear path as marked on the maps. We now had sore faces to match our sore legs. There was a lot of walking as we then started the lumpy section up and down all the south Malvern hills. Stopping and enjoying the views as we went. We passed an Ice cream shack and couldn’t resist a cooling snack and fizzy drink for the finish.
Finally, some 8 hours later after going wrong twenty(!) times (yep I counted), we covered the last few hills with the sky starting to darken. We were so relieved to finish.
Lauren is soon to take on the incredible Marathon des Sables. After 18 months of delays and deferments she’ll soon be towing the line in the desert. I can’t wait to follow her along and watch her bitch slap the race on her terms. Go Lauren!