Since her first one back in 2004, Heather Khoshnevis has done the New Forest Marathon virtually every single year since, up to the present day. In that space of time she’s now wracked her marathon total up to a staggering 146 and there are certainly no plans to stop just yet.

Proving she’s well capable of banging out multiple marathons in the same year, Heather just treats marathons like most runners do any other race. She just turns up, gets it done as best she can and then moves on to the next. She doesn’t feel the need to have had a three month block of structured training behind her for every one. She knows her body is very well adept at coping with the distance.

In fact it was only two weeks prior to the New Forest Marathon that she was over in Bath taking on the Two Tunnels Marathon. But she was back again at the New Forest, fighting fit and ready to go.

It started out as a road marathon back in 2004 and was part of the Dorset Road Race League. Then a few years later the course changed to incorporate three miles of trail, which just about stayed in the line with the DRRL rules. A few years later, the organisers retired from the race which meant that for one year it wasn’t on.

Then it was taken over and became a 50/50 trail and road course, which was just about right for Heather. Then there a couple of years where the course changed again, due to Covid, and that was when it was held within the grounds of Wimborne St Giles Estate. That was a very scenic course but it certainly had some testing terrain.

Heather was thrilled to hear it was returning to New Park Farm for 2022 and was very much looking forward to getting to grips with it. The first half of the race went well for her but she kept wondering where all the road sections had gone.

At certain points on the course, she couldn’t see any other runners and became concerned that she might have gone the wrong way. There was still no road though and it just seemed to be all trail. It felt like there were quite a few more undulations as well.

It was a lovely scenic route but Heather was finding it quite a bit harder than in previous years and she knew she wasn’t going to get close to her usual sort of times there.

Going through quite a range of emotions whilst she was out there, there was one point where Heather told herself this would be her last marathon. That then changed to rounding it off to 150. Then she thought perhaps she could make it to 200. Then thankfully she stopped thinking about it after that.

Finishing in a time of 4 hours 2 minutes and 7 seconds, Heather had come in 204th out of 645 participants and was 40th woman out of 209. In the F60 category she was 2nd out of 8, so all things considered, not a bad result for Heather. It was actually six-and-a-half minutes quicker than she ran at the St Giles Estate last year.

Heather Khoshnevis after finishing the New Forest Marathon

It may not quite have rivalled some of her previous New Forest Marathon times but it was still a good display from Heather Khoshnevis

Rick Weston was the winner of the Full Marathon, concluding his race in 2 hours 46 minutes and 31 seconds. He was followed by Philip Mosley of New Forest Runners who took 2nd place in 2:49:10. Thomas Upfold took 3rd place in 2:53:43 in a race where only five men got in under three hours.

Anne-Marie Bayliss was first female and she was the 11th person to cross the line in an impressive time of 3:05:04. Lauren Baker-Little of Poole Runners was 2nd female and 19th overall in 3:14:19. Then it was Laura Rothwell who completed the course in 3:15:48 to come in 22nd overall.

It’s all about how you prepare yourself though and how you feel on the day. Heather had been away in Kent the two previous days celebrating her grandson’s 2nd birthday and had come to the conclusion that being bounced around and jumped on by a bunch of toddlers on a bouncy castle may not have been ideal race preparation. You live an learn though.

Marathons are always an experience and an achievement, no matter how it goes. At the very least, it’s always a long run towards the next one. Heather still views the New Forest Marathon as a great event though and it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see her back on the start line for it next year.