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Caroline Davis of Grantham Running Club takes part in the Dukeries 40 event

Perfect weather greeted Grantham Running Club's long distance expert Caroline Davis who took on the Dukeries 40 on the Bank Holiday weekend.

Starting at Walesby, the 40.8 mile run is also a canicross event so Caroline and her trusty Whippet lined up at the start five minutes prior to the main body of competitors who were running either 30 or 40 miles. .

It's the second time Caroline has taken on the 40 mile event but, with a double set of marathons and just a couple of weeks rest, it was hard work from early doors.

Caroline Davis and Pepper.
Caroline Davis and Pepper.

Anyone that has run the Worksop Half Marathon might think that this would be an undulating course - thankfully it was relatively flat with just a couple of hills.

The course took runners through Sherwood Forest and the additional 10 mile loop for the 40-milers went past the Major Oak.

The next stage went through Norton - where canine sidekick Pepper was dropped off for a rest - onto the Welbeck Estate to Creswell Crags. It's at this point where the terrain became a bit hillier with a significant descent on tired legs after running for 23 miles.

The next stage was to run over to Limetree Avenue in Clumber Park. This route was shared with a horse event so marking was more often on the ground due to the tape upsetting the horses. It worked with everyone being respectful of the space.

Grinding out the last 13 miles through Clumber Park and back to Walesby was hard.

Caroline was rejoined by Pepper to complete the last seven miles - although she wasn't impressed by the stream that was now covering the pathway.

The pair got through it and, then it was a case of running through farmland, hitting the edge of Walesby and running a rectangle back to the finish line.

Caroline's finish time was eight hours, one minute and six seconds. This was 40 minutes slower than two years ago, but worthwhile preparation for the upcoming Robin Hood 100 mile which includes two laps of the Dukeries 40.

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