Friday evening race, based in a little village in the Yorkshire Wolds, all off road. Sounds perfect! I’ve run this one once before and it is a nice course but there are tough bits in it.
Friday was warm and dry and there had been very little rain recently so I knew the ground would be pretty hard. Messages on Friday between club mates on what shoes would be best is the norm….. decision being road shoes would be fine as it’s so hard. As I’ve been finding my road shoes not particularly supportive lately I decided on a pair of Asics trail shoes that I bought a while ago but have only used for walking rather than running. These are kind of a light trail shoe – so have grips but not big – thought they’d be good on the grass. They also have plenty of cushioning which I thought was important as I knew quite a bit of the course was on rough, stony tracks. This decision would come back to haunt me.
The race is held at Sledmere House – so a gorgeous location looking out over the grassland to the deer grazing. For the first time it was also chip timed; a great decision as far as I’m concerned. The start is relatively crowded, so great to have the chip timing and not worry about how long it is taking to cross the start line.
The first mile or so is on a stony chalk track and uphill – not really steep, but enough to really get you when you’ve just set off! The course winds around (and makes you lose yo
ur sense of direction…) through woodland, onto grass, back onto tracks. My favourite bit is the second mile. This is a stretch through trees, on a narrow rough track, and downhill. My quickest mile of the run. I overtook lots of people here, caught up and over took my husband, and giggled my way from top to bottom.
There is a long section along a dale bottom that I find quite hard – it is very slightly uphill and just seems to go on forever, which means I was pleased to get to the other end and the short, steep climb back onto the track.
Those trainers…… I really wish I’d made a better choice. My right foot had pins and needles and then numbness for a while and when that wore off all I knew that there was a blister forming on the arch of my foot.
The final mile is gently downhill and I managed to pick the pace up a little but I was really struggling by this point. The finishing stretch takes you back onto the grass in front of the house and I have no idea where from, but I managed to find some energy for a sprint finish. I love this finish photo, never before have I had flying feet like it!!
Feet…. Very bad choice of shoes. A fairly large blister on the arch of the right foot and very sore left foot resulted in me kicking these shoes off as quickly as I could after the finish line!
Race goodies: Flapjack at the finish (very yummy), medal and drawstring bag
Would I enter again? Yes. This is a local race and I like off road