On Sunday 24th March I was scheduled to run 22 miles so planned on heading up to Hemel Hempstead to take part in the Gade Valley Harriers London Marathon 20 mile training run. The weather demons decided to curtail my plan by unleashing a weekend of sleet and snow so unfortunately Gade Valley had to make the decision to cancel the run due to the poor course conditions.
I joined a group of other Eagles scouring online running event diaries to find an alternative and we discovered the Datchet Dashers 20 mile club run. It was not widely advertised but was open to other running clubs so on a cold Sunday morning I collected a small group of runners from Ealing Green and drove across to the Datchet Dashers club house in Windsor.
The route headed out to Old Windsor and was all pathway and road based until we reached the Windsor Great Park area, where we swapped to off-road tarmac paths around Virginia Water and then back through to Old Windsor and finally to the Dashers club house. There were a couple of long hills to contend with, the course was undulating through much of the park, and the conditions were tough around Virginia Water due to the strong wind and occasional flurries of light snow. However, there were plenty of supportive marshals dotted around the course plus water stations approximately every 4 miles.
This was a fantastic training run from a friendly running club who put on the event for free and supplied energetic cheering marshals armed with jelly babies and drink stations.
If you are looking for a pancake-flat 10k from a friendly running club then I recommend checking out The Dorney Dash.