On a nice summer break in the recent rain the annual gathering at the Milland Cricket ground took place. The weather gods looked on and clearly thought that the runners needed a little bit more of a challenge, fortunately most of the trails are in the shade and the recent heavy rain probably added a little touch of moisture under foot.
If you ever have to drive to this race let me give you a top tip - wherever you drive from the easiest way is to come in via the A3, and don't rely on your Sat Nav. Why ? well otherwise you'll end up in a 60 car convoy down single track lanes on the way to Milland. You will get there on time, but it is one of the more steady drives to a race that you will have.
Milland itself is a beautiful place - a quiet village with one large pub at the centre where every time I go there some vintage cars are parked up. This time it was an antique racing Bentley and a Rolls Royce. As far as I can tell all of the roads in or out are single track. the O2 mobile phone coverage map seems to ignore Milland on purpose. (http://webmap.o2.co.uk/map.asp use Milland Marsh in the search box) This is in essence the unspoilt corner of Sussex, so a quiet half marathon trail run around the edge of it should be a nice way to spend a day. And I think for the vast majority of runners it certainly was !
If you're wondering where Milland is: It's here
Without the Midhurst 10k next weekend and the race cancelling its shorter run this year was one for the purist trail runners, but loads of regular faces were there lifting the numbers to 418 finishers in the end.
With the course reverting to one similar to three years ago before the Foot and Mouth, the long run up the hill at the 10 mile end was bound to be a highlight (?!) of the vallery perimiter run.
The race route can be found here: http://www.goodrunguide.co.uk/CourseMap.asp?RaceID=233
The rest of the race information is on the Liss Runners site here: http://www.liss-runners.org.uk/17663.html along with the results.
Congratulations to Tom and the Marshalls and the Team from Liss runners who again managed to get everyone around safely with a well marked out course (even if the Jelly Babies did run out at the top of the hill before the descent).
The event gallery is now live here - ready for orders, and a selection of preview photos below http://gallery.sussexsportphotography.com/a.tlx?k=1d2zeoy
The leader from Serpentine Nicholas Torry, at the 8 mile point, looking like he should be at the 3 mile point at that pace. He had a huge lead here and stormed home to win.
We always enjoy a happy wave or thumbs up ! Hi Anthony !
Some people were showing that the top of the hill at 10 miles was not an excuse to slow down, like Adam here, flying along...
Some people, like Dawn, just found it all quite good fun.
Did you remember to look at the view from the top ? You can see the other side of the valley and the basin in this shot.
Diane seemed to enjoy the run, just to rub it in to her other half who's injured (get well soon) and had waited at the finish for 2hrs 37m and 15 sec.
Steven made it round in one piece as ever with a smile
The Marshalling was praised by many of the finishers
Richard got a bit muddy, but did manage 71st place
So please go to the gallery and get a look and order your photos today - enjoy ! http://gallery.sussexsportphotography.com/a.tlx?k=1d2zeoy
All the best
Anthony and Sally