Challenge 2 – Forest of Dean, here we come!

Forest of Dean 2

It’s a thumbs up from the Forest of Dean organisers!

What a difference a couple of weeks makes! The sun is shining, the sky is blue, North Korea  wants to blow up the world and the welfare state has gone to pot… but enough of that – the weather is about 10 degrees warmer and the Forest of Dean half marathon – our second challenge – is back on!

Ah - spring, where have you been?!

Ah – spring, where have you been?!

Snow-bound a fortnight ago, the spring trails course that starts at Speech House in the heart of the Forest of Dean looks just as it should at the start of April – daffodils on the trail side, leafs emerging on the trees and a hint of warmth in the air – perfect conditions for running, unlike the crisp white course before.

Forest of Dean half marathon route

Forest of Dean half marathon route

The route looks fantastic. Set in stunning scenery, it’s fairly flat for the first mile and a half, then shoots down hill as we run towards the Canopy Ponds – a great place for families to have a picnic, before gradually climbing back up again over the six miles as you run through Beechenhurst and Brierley, before a long, undulating route towards Mallards Pike and back to Speech House. It may end up not being a personal best race, but I think we’ll struggle to find a prettier course this year.

So, thanks to the hard work of the Rotary Club of the Forest of Dean, the half marathon is back on (Michael Fish predictions withstanding…) and we’re carb-loading again, so Cozzie is happy… Sadly we’re a couple of team mates down – the Cranfields are out with a broken foot (Jamie) and tonsillitis (Anna) – we’ll be thinking of them half way round, and hopefully they’ll be doing the same!

A few last-minute checks of our kit, then we’ll be on our way to Bristol for our second challenge for Southmead Hospital. While we’ve chosen these challenges because they’re a lot of fun, everything we’re doing is to help save more lives at Southmead Hospital’s coronary care and cardiology units. So if you can, please sponsor us and help us raise money to buy more life-saving equipment for the wards.

Spring is in the air, so hopefully we’ll have a spring in our step… Find out tomorrow in our post-race report. Thanks! http://www.justgiving.com/helpinghearts2013

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