Winding through the steep hills of Oxfordshire’s Stonor Park, Helly Hansen’s first Beauty and the Beast trail marathon invited runners from around the UK to complete 26.2 miles of cross-country trails and hard climbs.
The event itself was brilliant for two reasons: firstly, with 500 runners, there was a close-knit, friendly atmosphere where spectators were pretty much free-roaming around the entire race site. Secondly, the event was totally flexible in running terms. A 4.4-mile loop stretched around the estate, with single marathon and half-marathon length runners racing cheek by jowl with teams of two, three and six. Late summer sunshine was out in abundance, too, and luckily the shade offered by at least a mile of trail through the mature beech woods gave runners a chance to cool off.
WideWorld entered a team of three to complete the trail, with each runner completing two laps of the course. The official results are yet to be announced by Helly Hansen, but we came reliably under 4:30m according to our own calculations!
Big thanks to Helly Hansen for the support and use of their brilliant kit before the race – winter running will be a cinch with their technical layers.
Big props to the hardcore runners of the day – the barefoot marathoner, and the two guys with grievous fencing injuries. Plod on!