Gareth Hopkins – “So after running (and struggling) around Farnborough Half I wanted to get another half under my belt as soon as I could. I had previously attended a Saturn Run as a training run to get up to 10 miles prior to Farnborough, so I thought another would be a good way to get another half in. This one was a Harry Potter related run, with a nice medal (always helps)! For anyone that hasn’t heard of Saturn Runs, they are basically a timed event that allows you to run as far as you want in the allotted time. This event took place in Runnymede and was a pleasant 3.28m loop down and back along the Thames towpath. One thing I love about these runs is the completely relaxed atmosphere. There is no pressure on time, speed or distance, you just choose to stop when you’ve had enough. I had my planned 4 laps ahead of me when I set off, making sure that I didn’t head of too quick this time. As there are so many people running at different speeds and different lap times, it is such a social event as you can natter along with runners who are at your pace, or equally say well done to the speedier runners as they scoot past. Half way into my first lap my headphones started telling me I had low battery (disaster as I like some back ground noise when I run!) So finishing my first lap meant a quick change over to my backup headphones. One aspect of finishing each lap which is always a lovely sight to see is the aid table. It is always stocked with lots of nice treats and drinks for you to fuel up on between laps. I was good and made sure I didn’t take anything on my first lap as I felt I hadn’t earnt it. Lap two flew by, mainly helped by the ever growing strong wind whipping in from down the Thames. Lap three was ok apart a niggling pain that I had in my foot, which I put down to my compression socks. This meant trying to set a new trend of running with a single compression sock rather than a pair. I’m not holding my breath as to whether this will catch on. This slight break also meant a bit too much time was spent at the aid table, but hey I needed the energy for the last lap. My final lap, was again quite tough due to the stopping that I had done, but I was pleased to be able to come in with a time that I was happy with. It wasn’t the quickest, but I didn’t mind one bit as I wasn’t looking for a time, just to get distance on my legs. As I have now run two half marathons in two months, I am tempted to try for 12 half marathons in 12 months. So I am currently compiling a list to see which ones I can be tempted by, so let’s see what happens…”
Angela and Mark Foker – “On Saturday February 9th, me Angela and our daughter Laurie were off to beautiful Runnymede close to Windsor for the Philosopher’s Run….yes, as in Harry Potter! This was another well organised event and another cracking day. The route took competitor’s along the tow path along the Thames and runners could run a number of circuits depending on how far they wanted to go. However, the majority would run or walk a half Marathon or 10miles or less. It was up to the individuals.
The run was well worth it for the amazing Hogwarts medal… A lot of people found it harder than expected as the sun took the frost off the ground but it turned into mud and the more circuits we did up and down the course it just got churned up more and more making your trainers heavy… like a mini brutal!”
Michelle Wilson – “The Philosophers Run was my 6th half marathon in my 12 in 12 challenge. It was also my 5th run with Saturn Running. I really like their lap format (and the fab aid station snacks!) This event didn’t go to plan though as I pulled my calf after only about 2 miles. I couldn’t run, but thanks to another lovely runner, who gave me some K tape, I was able to strap my calf up, put on a good 80’s music playlist and waddle the rest of the way around. It did take nearly 4 hours…that’s a lot of Depeche Mode!”
The feed stations at Saturn events are legendary so here’s a picture of some of the snack options available.
The medal for this event was also very special, especially if you are a fan of teh Hogwarts saga!