Winter Tanners reboot

Steph recalls Winter Tanners: it’s always nice to have a goal through Winter. It keeps the motivation going, gives you a reason to train and something to aim for. For the first time in a few years, I found myself in mid-Autumn without a Spring marathon to train for. Well what’s a girl to do… sign up for her favourite distance, the 50k.

I’ve been loitering over LDWA events and lurking on their web page for some time. I wasn’t really sure why they’d come to my attention until Amy reminded me that she was the pioneer on this one.
The event was everything I hoped and more, see Amy’s post for full detail. Welcome and registration was succinct and friendly, the start when you like (in a slot) means that the volunteers aren’t overloaded with eager  walkers all at once. The checkpoints were better stocked that I expected, Amy’s fig rolls were there but lots of other sweet and savoury snacks. I agree with Amy though that tea would have been more welcome at the half way point before tackling St Martha’s Hill. I did the Dovedale Dipper a few months ago and that was just digestives and squash!
The piece de resistance of Winter Tanners was the warm welcome and amazing spread at the end, we got a personalised certificate, Liam had about 6 cups of tea, there were sew on badges for £2 and a very kind stranger bought me one as I didn’t have any cash. There was more cake than hungry walkers and a few runners could even contemplate eating!
I think more events should start in business parks, plentiful parking and no other users at the weekend  – perfect. The fab Maidenhead 10 is the same.
What struck me most about this route was all the memories it bought back to me, we started and climbed straight out the back of Denbies wine estate, where I did my 2nd or 3rd marathon and score my first ever podium! The half way point brings you hills over Guildford where I went to university and St Martha’s Hill where Travis and I randomly started a 35 mile training run (madness!). There were no toilets on the course and I was super pleased to suddenly realise where I was, as the memories came flooding back… THIS was the point where Amy gave me her wedding invitation! Liam couldn’t quite understand why i was telling him this story about Amy carrying a wedding invitation of 35+ miles until I met her to run a little section of the NDW50 but for me, it’s a memory I will treasure forever and the boost I needed to finish Winter Tanners.

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