Milland, West Sussex
August 5, 2007
Paul Bleach 1:21:49
Kate Brown 1:35:16
No. of Finishers
There was a last-minute change of route at this year’s Milland Valley Trail 21K.
The recent foot and mouth outbreak forced organisers to revise the course, taking one hill out of the race, but leaving a host of others to challenge runners.
The promise of five water stations sounded generous in the pre-race briefing but most competitors stopped at every one as the ascents kept on coming and the temperature soared on one of this summer’s rare hot days.
This truly was a multi-terrain race with sandy tracks, mud and a stream to break the rhythm of running. When a queue formed to tackle some steps early on in the race, it seemed like a welcome respite until the running started again and heavy legs refused to cooperate.
Much of the one-lap course was on shaded lanes and woodland tracks but there were a few stretches where runners burst forth from the vegetation to be scorched by the sun as they enjoyed the fine views.
With so many climbs and surfaces to negotiate, marshals needed to encourage flagging runners. They didn’t disappoint, with some even handing out Jelly Babies.
The tough hills and hot weather may have put paid to fast times, but this is a race where taking part is more important than winning.