Here’s the report for the Gloucester 20
“With no Duchy marathon and 20 miler, I looked further afield for an event and found the Gloucester 20 and signed up. Staying overnight with a friend in Stroud I arrived at the course early as there was no provision for Sports Drinks to be taken to water stops so it was a do it yourself job. The waterstops hadn’t been set up at this stage so I ended up hiding a couple of bottles in the vegetation of a gateway.
Having collected my number, the inevitable queue for the toilets began as the sports centre had only 1 single urinal and there were only 8 portaloos outside for the 500 runners.
After the race briefing, we were off on a cloudless, sunny day with the temperature already nudging 15 degrees. The first 2 miles were through an Industrial estate before we started on the first of three 5.5 mile loops through pretty villages although 1 stretch of road each lap was on a fairly busy road.
Having settled into a comfortable pace for the first lap I picked up my first drink from the gateway much to the amusement of some lady spectators standing there.
Onto the second lap, and, as I was now passing runners on a regular basis, I realised my pace had picked up and I was averaging 6.50 per mile. Approaching the gateway for my second drink, the helpful ladies actually spotted me and handed it over to me. Shame they couldn’t have helped me with my gel because, after tearing the top off, my hand/mouth coordination was sorely lacking as the majority shot sideways onto my arm and leg leaving a sticky mess.
The start of the third lap was the only low point as the same roads were starting to get a bit monotonous. However a slower mile in and I was off the busy road. Having cleared the only real climb of the loop, and with my mile average time dropping, I pushed on for the finish spurred on by rapidly catching a whole load of runners.
Coming off the loop with just the trail back to the industrial estate to go I was starting to think that things were getting tough only to realise that I had been mileing at around 6.34 for the last 4 miles. I finished in 2.16.01 which was well inside my aim of 2.20 so ecstatic with my time. I also picked up £10 for second M50 so all in all not a bad day.
Would I do it again? Lets hope the Duchy is back up and running again next year!”