Sidmouth runner Adrian Horne conquers the Dartmoor High Ground Marathon

Sidmouth Running Club member Adrian Horne (left) with running buddy and friend Chris Carlton after T

Sidmouth Running Club member Adrian Horne (left) with running buddy and friend Chris Carlton after The Dartmoor High Ground Marathon. Picture: SRC - Credit: Archant

Adrian Horne took part in The Dartmoor High Ground Marathon, writes Hamish Spence.

Feeling very apprehensive, Adrian set-off with his friend, Egdon Heath Harrier Chris Carlton at 10.30am along with 113 others from The Parklands Leisure Centre on the edge of Okehampton.

The pair faced a brutal route which took them and the other competitors straight into a long climb, crossing the bridge over the A30 and up onto the moors.

Climbing up Yes Torr was gruelling and the blast through Death Valley was exhilarating.

The pair took it steady, power walking the steeper hills, running the contours and easing up on the descents.

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Checkpoint two was a very welcoming sight giving Adrian the encouragement that they had reached halfway.

Watered and refreshed they set off for CP3 onto six(ish) miles of what was mostly contouring terrain. On arrival at CP3 was the support crew in the form of both lads' wives. It is always a welcomed sight of those closest to us and this was a huge boost in moral for them. The section between CP3 and CP4 was another climb up Yes Torr and was incredibly difficult.

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Adrian found this section very hard going and really wished that his training schedule had gone better with less injury niggles in the run-up to this event.

Adrian's injury problems were just about holding up, but he began to struggle. Though later said that the encouragement and support he received from Chris helped him enormously.

It is important to have in mind, the severity of the inclines, with over 5,000ft of elevation gain plus the harsh terrain and the warm weather.

Chris and Adrian's average pace was a very respectable 15:10 minute miles and, with a finish time of 6:42, the pair crossed the finish line back from where they left in Okehampton in 83rd and 84th places. Although Adrian struggled with this event this year, if it takes place again next year he will be giving it another shot.

He would recommend this marathon for the challenge to those who like being out in the wilderness as the scenery and countryside is outstanding.

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