The Mouth to Mouth marathon (or technically ultra marathon as its distance is over 27 miles) has to be one of my favorites I have ever run!!
This is held in December and is a point to point marathon. Logistically a bit more of a challenge as you need to arrange transport to get back to the start but its worth it.
The race starts at Shorham-by-sea and takes the Downslink alongside the river Adur up to the South Downs where after 10ish miles you descend to the river Arun and follow it down to Littlehampton. This race to me is British countryside at its best and the first time in a race I’ve stopped to get the camera out and take photos. They don’t do it justice so won’t be publishing them. A few things on route include a pig farm that stretches as far as the eye can see, stunning views from the South Downs and an Indiana Jones style bridge to run across that really messes with your legs (it wobbles).
The race is arranged by Sussex Trail Events who are also responsible for the Luna-Tic marathon (see previous blog). I was starting to build an impression of these guys that they set slightly tougher races than your average marathon but with this route I didn’t care. I loved it.
The last 6ish miles along the River bank of the Arun was tough. A number of people passed me at this stage and in my struggle people passing me were trying to offer words of encouragement. “Only a mile left mate”, “Keep going” etc.
I don’t know what peoples opinions are on this but sometimes when I’m struggling to keep putting one foot in front of the other words of encouragement do me no favours. Especially at the big marathons when they come from the spectators and I just think “you fudging come and do it!!”. I’ve learnt to keep a smile on my face through this as I get used to the feeling of what I call a blow up. When I’m running well though it’s a totally different story and I bathe in it. I have to say if you feel you are not getting enough recognition from life, work or home, start running at events. Every person you pass “Well done”. I think I may get a condition from this!
The finish line came after 28 tough trail miles, relief and recovery as I got the train back from Littlehampton to Shorham. Then a walk/hobble to the car.
I can’t recommend this one enough. We were lucky with the weather, aid stations are good with an assortment of the Tesco savouries and bakery isle and chocolate.
Afterwards a reunion dinner with the NCT lot, course leader and eight 3 month old babies. The pub didn’t know what hit them. Don’t think we did either. Everyone eating at different times depending on who held the babies or changed the nappies etc. Chaos.
Parking at the start is free. Use the train times to set your expectations on a finish time. They don’t run frequently!
You have to walk some sections and for me this marathon really starts after Arundel and the long River bank section down to Littehampton. It can be muddy, lumpy and not what you want after 23 miles. Expect some tough last miles.