So, while others were marathoning this weekend in London or Southampton, I thought I’d also leave my comfort zone and take the easier 10 mile option. Not the flat, local 10 miles around town. No, the out of my comfort zone, drive to race, unfamiliar territory, trail run, with HILLS 10 miler!
I signed up for this run to make me run. It’s no secret – I hate running – but need to up my game. Decided to get 10 miles in early to make myself up my distance, the plan then to keep running 10 miles regularly in the lead up to September. It’s also a reasonably priced race, and I was rather taken with Debbie’s (Pentland) photos in the last few years.
A short drive to Angmering/Patching on A27; the race was well signposted from the A27. The car park field was a cause for concern as grass was long and ground rather soft. (Saw a tractor arriving to pull cars out as we left!)
Clothing somewhat tricky as weather was warming up, should I go trail shoes or usual trainers, as the majority was off road but not soggy – eventually opted for running vest and trail shoes. Also put my number on a race belt, rather than pinning. I went for the snug fitting hipster look – I’m pleased with how this worked out.
There was only a short walk to race HQ from the car park, there were plenty of toilets. Observation – toilet queues at running events move much more quickly than triathlon events – I reckon it’s the tri-suit factor – just more fuel to my separates move this year!
No need for registration as race information and number were posted. Another bonus mark!
The 10km race went off first – 10 milers followed 15 minutes later, with a short walk down a road.
Forgot to set my watch, but fortunately it didn’t take long to find the GPS. First km was on the road and downhill so into a fairly false sense of security and knew that I was running faster than I’d like as I was definitely still in my comfort zone!
We left the road and took a path up through the woods. Although it was up, it wasn’t steep and was completely runnable for me. It wasn’t long before the bluebells stole the show and the dappled light from trees made for a beautiful scenery.
The track seemed to go up for a very long time, but as we came out of the woods it levelled off into a good downhill section, with a fantastic view over the downs, into the first water station. Shortly after the water station was a steep climb. People running around me stopped and walked, I ran for as long as I could and then ‘power-walked’ up it. This worked well as I still had a good pace and even overtook some ‘runners’ up the hill. The top of the hill saw the hardest part of the run. A short out and back section along a track followed by another uphill this time on grass. The top of this hill saw us reach our highest point and the views were amazing with sunshine and blue skies.
Most of the rest of the route was downwards, a mix of road and track, back into the woods after the second and very welcome water station. I walked through both water stations following advice I received and put into practice at the Portsmouth Triathlon from lovely Coach Emma. Taking time to drink properly, lower my heart rate and then be ready to go again. Works a treat!
The route was very well marked and there were plenty of friendly marshals out on the course. A great course, even the really steep hill up to the finish was good. (Another power walk effort from me!) The runners were a friendly lot too, met some really nice people – also triathletes! No medal, (I’m moving past the need for bling – I have loads!) lovely Cliff bar and free downloadable photos.
This run made me feel like a runner and that running was good, I was out of my comfort zone but it wasn’t such a bad a place to be.