In June 2022 I took part in this highly recommended event, if you’re looking for a varied trail half marathon race to take part in, and are based near Salisbury, this is one not to miss!
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SALISBURY PLAIN TRAIL HALF MARATHON
Organised by Run On Trails, the Salisbury Plain Trail Half Marathon is an awesome event situated on the largest military training area in the UK. There are three different races to take part in on the day, the half marathon, full marathon and 50 miler. There’s a mix of mud, hills, peace and quiet and epic views. This was one of my favourite races to date, take a look at my race recap below if you are thinking of entering this event.
Two words, very hilly! Although, what goes up, must come down. So although there were some extremely hilly sections in this race, they were mostly short sections, with the reward of a nice downhill to follow. My tactic for this route was to walk some of the steeper hills where I felt like I was loosing energy, which allowed me to regain some strength to bomb it down the hills! Catching up with those who over took me on the way up. One negative I would point out about this route is that it finished half a km short of a half marathon (21km) distance, which isn’t ideal if you are about to hit a pb, like I was. Having said that, this was the only negative I could say about this event, all in all it was well organised, well signposted and certainly a fantastic route.
The route is based on the Salisbury Plain military training area, and as you would expect the terrain was spot on for a trail half marathon, plenty of wide gravel tracks, grassy paths, tarmac, and a small woodland section towards the end. I would recommend trail running trainers, however for this race I wore my Adidas Adistar trainers and they held up well, these trainers never let me down!
I wear the Salomon Active Skin 4 in an XS, and the Salisbury Plain Half Marathon was no exception! I honestly don’t know what I did before it, it’s a total game changer. This hydration pack contains two slots on the front for two soft 500ml flasks and is also compatible with a 1.5L bladder. It’s snug and holds well to your body with minimal bouncing around, adjustable through a lace up style front which you can tighten by adjusting the toggle. I decided to go with the unisex version of this hydration pack instead of the women’s version, as I preferred the visual placement of the bottles. I have to say I can’t fault it, I now use this hydration pack for all of my long runs and it easily carries all of my belongings, including; headphone case, car keys, phone, water, snacks!
HYDRATION & FUEL
For this race I took 1 litre of water in two portable, flexible flasks in my hydration pack, one with an additional electrolyte tablet in. 1 litre was just about enough for this trail half marathon, as it was a warm day. For the half marathon distance there was 1 check point, and I definitely spotted some loos along this route towards the later section of the race. I also took an energy gel with me but didn’t end up having this, and a jelly energy bar, which I only took one bite of, I picked both of these up from Decathlon, and packed them for more of a precautionary measure incase I was struggling on the day. I find it’s a hard balance to strike, as too much on the way around makes me feel nauseous, but every race is different and sometime I’m really thankful for the extra pick-me-up.
I first saw Caffeine Bullets on Dragons Den, looking for an alternative to pre-workout I skeptically decided to give them a go. My review below isn’t sponsored, and is my own opinion from using Caffeine Bullets for serval races including the Salisbury Plain Half Marathon.
If you’re looking for more than a coffee but less than a pre-workout, caffeine bullets are certainly worth a try. After getting into the habit of taking pre-workout ahead of the majority of my runs, I decided to completely cut it out at the end of 2021. Now half way into 2022 for my ‘every day’ runs I don’t have anything before hand, on particularly lazy days possibly a coffee. For longer runs I’ve occasionally been having half a caffeine bullet depending on my energy levels, and a whole caffeine bullet during races, and they have been working like a dream. For someone who gets particularly jittery when consuming caffeine, I don’t get that same jittery feeling, just all of the energy and get up and go. Unlike a pre-workout you don’t have the same unwelcome side effects of a tingly face and fingers, in-fact it’s hard to detect any side effects other than feeling the positive effects of being fresh, energised and ready to take on your run.
RECOMMENDED RUNNING KIT
GARMIN VENU 2S
My beloved Garmin! This watch might as well be an extension of my arm, it certainly dosen’t come off much! I would recommend this watch to any runner, it makes tracking your activity effortless, it looks super stylish, and is a great addition to everyday life, with its fantastic multitude of features. It goes without saying that I wore my Garmin to track my race time at the Salisbury Plain Half Marathon.
NIKE WOMEN’S PEGASUS TRAIL 3
Can trainers be beautiful? Because these certainly are! My current trail shoe of choice, kitted out with all the features you would expect from Nike, including a Gore-Tex membrane to keep your feet dry on wet winter runs. Personally I don’t think you can beat either white or black for running trainers, these perform as good as they look.
Race Photography by Bluekite Creative
Have you completed the Salisbury Plain Summer Edition Trail Half Marathon? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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