Rock Park, Barnstaple
Beautiful scenery along the course.
Both races start and finish at Rock Park in Barnstaple and head down Ladies mile. Turning left onto Taw Vale, the runners will pass down one of the most scenic roads in the town. Down onto the main square and over the old bridge the runners will reach mile 1 as they head onto the Tarka trail at the old Shapland and petter site.
From there it's the Tarka trail all the way to Fremington and then up the Fremington Quay road (closed to traffic) to the main road. The route follows the main road all the way to Yelland, the road is not closed but there is pavement for most of the route, sections that don't have pavement will be coned off. There is one small incline out of Fremington and that's the one bump in the whole race.
At Yelland the runners head back to Barnstaple on the Tarka Trail and cross the old bridge and head onto the Strand (closed to traffic all day).
On the Strand the race will split. The half marathoners will turn left just before the old fountain and left again to go under the under pass and head back to the park to the finish.
The full marathoners will run all the way along the Strand to the Civic Centre car park where they will access the Tarka trail again. This time it's straight out to Wrafton where the route takes a left onto the road and heads up to the main road. The route follows the main road until the roundabout where the runners will turn left and head down towards Vellator.
Next comes a little out and back section at Vellator. This is necessary to ensure that we have exactly the right distance for the route. Runners will head towards the car park at Vellator and perform a dignified and balletic U turn around a stragetically placed cone before heading back to the roundabout. There the route goes back onto the Tarka trail and heads down to Crash Gate 1 at RMB Chivenor.
Now comes the exciting bit, running across the base at Chivenor! As you enter the base you'll be confronted by 22 Squadron - The Wessex helicopters of the Search and Rescue team. If you're lucky (and someone is being unlucky elsewhere) they may well take off in front of you!
The route now becomes a lonely trek around the perimiter track. There are no spectators allowed on the base for obvious reasons but there will be marshals, a water station, first aid and some snipers provided by the base. Apparently if you drop below your goal speed the snipers will offer some encouragement for you......
The 2.5 miles of track at the base will fly by and before you know it you'll be at Crash gate 2 and heading through the outside of the camp back to Chivenor roundabout. Once there you'll pick up the Tarka trail and head home. All the way back to the park, it's a straight run in, doubtless the wind will be behind you and you'll gallop along to a new PB and the adoration of your friends and family.
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