An age category win in the Bath Two Tunnels Marathon last year had left Heather Khoshnevis with happy memories of the event and she jumped at the chance to do it again this summer. That was despite the fact that she found it a bit spooky going through the dark tunnels where you are essentially in pitch black. In fact she described it as “a strange black hole experience!”

The first of the Two Tunnels is the Devonshire tunnel, which is 408m long and is well lit and the course curves round to the left as you go through the tunnel. The Combe Down Tunnel is 1672m long, making it the race with the longest underground section in Britain. The northern side of the tunnel is 50ft higher than the southern portal which causes a breeze to circulate through the tunnel.

This one seems to go on forever and just get darker and darker as you pass through. They had music playing in there every so often as well, which made it sound spooky, although it probably wasn’t meant to be. Heather likened it to running through the Ghost Train at the fairground. You can’t even see the ground below so you have to trust that there is nothing in there you can trip up on.

The route also heads through some lovely parks and along a quirky canal path with lots of long boats mooed up with some very interesting features. There were also lots of packed feed stations, although Heather didn’t really make the most of them. Aside from water and coke, she only had two Haribo’s.

She had conveniently forgotten about the hills on the route until she hit them. There were also some tricky steps to encounter as well. It’s funny how you tend to blur out the tougher aspects of a race. How many times have we all finished a race and immediately said “Never again” – then the following year you find yourself back on the start line of that very same race!!

Although there were plenty of fluids on offer and she did drink a lot, it was obviously hotter or more humid than Heather realised as about a mile after each aid station she found herself gasping with a very dry mouth. She’d never felt it quite like that before.

Completing the course in 4 hours 16 minutes and 9 seconds, Heather finished 29th overall and was 4th female over the line. She had also retained her crown in the female 60-69 category. She was actually 8 minutes slower than last year but it was definitely 8 minutes hotter this time!

It’s on to the New Forest Marathon next weekend for Heather, which is another one she also did last year. To many people it might seem like a lot running two tough marathons in two weeks but to Heather, it’s relatively normal. Running a marathon isn’t such a big deal for her. It’s just another race, and she’s well capable of banging them out on the regular.

Heather Khoshnevis with medal after Two Tunnels Marathon

The Two Tunnels was marathon number 145 ticked off for Heather