Neolithic Marathon
Wednesday 5th May
Avebury Ring

Avebury RingThe Neolithic Marathon (or Sarsen Trail as walkers know it) runs in a rather curvy 26.2 miles from Avebury in Wiltshire to Stonehenge. It is excellently organised each year by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.
Starting in the fine village of Avebury we skirt the neolithic ring as 250 runners and 3000 or so walkers set off for Stonehenge. Everything is extremely friendly and civilised.
Approaching the WansdykeHaving passed some new age travellers and their horses we are soon climbing steadily up the chalk escarpment to the Wansdyke: the first obstacle of the run and a fine vantage point.

Cresting the ridge we have a fine view across the vale of Pewsey to the escarpment climbing up to Salisbury Plain in the distance. We will be there in an hour or so but in the meantime there is a pleasing descent to All Cannings in the valley.
The approach to Redhorn hillOnce down on the flat the going is pretty easy - through fields yellow with dandelions - until we reach Redhorn Hill. Here the route climbs steeply by about 200m until we are on the northern edge of Salisbury Plain. As the map shows the route then skirts the plain before heading south again across rolling countryside.

In 2002 I got round in a respectable 3.45 but this year as I pass the 21 mile marker (Newfoundland Farm Wood) the cramp in my legs tell me that I have not done any long runs recently and I almost grind to a halt. 5 very painful miles later Stonehenge comes into sight and I collapse over the line and decide to train a bit more before next year. This is a great outing but not to be taken too lightly.