Salisbury 54321 50K – a run around the Salisbury countryside taking in sights such as Old Sarum and Salisbury Cathedral.
Event took place on Sunday August 14th, start at 9.30am
I chose this event as I had never been to Salisbury before, the elevation gain was about 2,000 feet and it was a circular route taking in several tourist sights.
I received my registration pack in the post several weeks before hand but I had to collect my race number and t-shirt on the day. On the morning of the race, I arrived at Salisbury Fire station – the start line. This was a very well organised set-up, a decent supply of portaloos, easy number and tee collection and plenty of refreshment opportunities.
The first wave to leave was the 50k with the other distances (42K, 33K, 21K and 10K) leaving later. The race briefing was short but adequate and on the sound of the horn, we were off!
Being a mixed terrain event, there was several footbridges, kissing gates, narrow lanes, styles to get through which did mean a few expected bottle necks, particularly at the start. However, as the distance progressed the bottle necks were fewer and fewer.
As you can see from the map below we headed across field towards Little Durnford then headed back down towards Old Sarum. The route meant we got to run around this lovely attraction with stunning views.
Following Old Sarum, we traveled down towards Whaddon then across to Nunton taking in a mix of fields, tracks, gravel, corn fields and roads (roads were lanes and main carriage ways). We than ran past some amazing Yew trees which was a welcomed shelter from the intense sun. Following this we traveled to Coombe Bissett then onto Wilton, and finally heading back into Salisbury center, past the Cathedral.
There were aid stations approximately every 5-10 miles supplying water, juice and the odd snack. The latter aid stations also supplied more hearty snacks such as flapjacks and cake. I would have hoped they had served flat cola too for the sugar and caffeine buzz.
The route was very well signposted so self navigation is not required. However, I did come across several 21K runners who had got lost and ended up on the 50K route! the only issue with the signage was during the last 2 miles as we ran through the center. There was a distinct lack of signage which meant several of us had no idea which way to go. thankfully we came across a runner who know the route so he directed us.
Crossing the finish line, we were handed our medal, First Aid was at hand, music was playing and the ice cream truck had arrived! After grabbing a 99 and having a sit down for 15 minutes, I grabbed my shower kit and headed over to the leisure center, a 5 minute walk away, for a much needed shower. the facilities were excellent!
For £20 entry, this is a fantastic race and definitely suitable for a 1st 50K. The T-shirt did cost and extra £7 (cotton) but in my opinion, worth it.
A superb race.