I returned to the Glow Worm Trail Marathon weekend in 2016 with two very special companions, Deb and Andrew from Achilles. It was at this event in 2015 that I met Andrew and Achilles and started my journey with them. So it was a lovely touch to return again this year and guide Andrew in the event. I say guide but really Andrew is such a competent runner that he didn’t need much assistance and was the only one out of the three of us not to arse up on the course!!
I’ve already written a review of this event so I won’t go into much detail on the course itself but more the atmosphere on the day and to include lots of photos as my running photo game has gotten a lot stronger in the last 12 months! This year there were two half marathons, one on the Saturday and one on the Sunday, the latter coinciding with the full marathon which does a more technical first half before doing the same second half as us. This meant that on our return section of the out and back part of the course we saw some of the elites smashing out the marathon. Legends!
Andrew was familiar with the course and whilst has a vision impairment is able to make out obstacles when he’s looking for them and hence just needs some narration on what’s on the ground. On the road this is easy, kerb, cats-eye, pothole all very easy to describe on the trail it’s branch, stick, bigger branch, head-height branch, impaling branch at stomach height, hole, bigger hole, really big hole and with the Glow Worm track being an old railway track there were steel rails, sewer pipes and all sorts of weird things. So quite quickly it became step up, step down, duck, stay left, stay right (to avoid the sizeable cliff drops in points). But with an obstacle every other step this was quite the task. It was the first time I really realised the importance of being fitter than the person you’re guiding as you’re talking ALL of the time! Try it next time you’re on the trail, it is a lot harder than it seems.
Mostly though we laughed and chatted and enjoyed the atmosphere of the day. We stopped in the tunnel for quite a while to try and find some glow worms bright enough for Andrew to see but unfortunately they were just too small. So off we went to the return section of the course. It was great to get lots of “Go Achilles” cheers out on the course and we were met by guides Claire and Wayne along the finish line and they ran with us for the final section. It was awesome.
A big thank you to everyone who cheered us along and to the volunteers and organisers that always make this an event not to be missed!