‘A scenic 10k multi terrain run starting and finishing in the grounds of Sledmere House, Sledmere.’
My first time at this event. Pretty local to me, beautiful countryside, off road – it meant that I really did need to enter. Despite it being very hard, I’m pleased I did.
This is an evening run, with a start time of 7.30pm – not a time that I generally choose to run if I can help it but I think it leads to a nice relaxed atmosphere and everyone seemed to be pretty chilled. Parking was easy, as was registration and picking up numbers. One thing to note is that this is not chip timed (important for some).
A short queue at last minute for the loo (I’d not realised the start was a little way from the front of Sledmere House, so would be a little bit earlier in the queue another year!) and we headed to the front of the house and then to walk down to the start area. It really is a beautiful setting, so worth lifting your head up and having a look round. We had a stunning evening of clear blue skies that made everything look pretty special.
I keep saying ‘we’ but haven’t explained that one. I was with my partner and there were fifteen of us from our running club – a good turnout for a small club particularly when there are several races this weekend in the area.
Pleased to say that there wasn’t much hanging around at the start and we were off. A short level section on a chalk track followed quickly by a climb. I find this really difficult early on in a race, before I’ve had time to warm up properly and find a rhythm. The course consisted of a small loop followed by a larger loop which took in part of the first but in the opposite direction. Mile two ended up being a fab mile for me and my quickest of the race (not the best pacing but never mind!) as it was through the woods and slightly downhill. I did pay for this later on in the race though when the legs were burning.
The worst section of the race was around mile four (and my slowest mile). We were taken out of the woods and into a dale bottom which was deceiving in looking quite flat but was actually a steady climb the whole length. Add to this the fact that the grass had been cut, but still left pretty long and all of the grass cuttings were piled on top. This just sapped the energy from my legs! A very steep but thankfully short hill led the way out of the dale (I’ll admit that I walked this) and back onto tracks and eventually into the woods again.
I’d decided that I was going to push hard for this race, and that I did. I aimed to try and keep with a fellow club member and I finished just 22 seconds behind her, so thanks Karyn for helping me keep the pace up. I’m pretty pleased with the result – I’m still not back to where I was, but this was a hard course, on a very warm evening and I had a great run and knew that I’d given everything I had.
Official time: 56:16
38 / 137 females