Posted: 03/10/2015 at 18:42
Tres jolie, Aws!
I had tentative plans to do the Huntington Chase today, an informal local-ish race open to runners, cyclists and horse-riders; it is mainly off-road and goes up a steep hill called Hergest Ridge. The reason I was hesitant is that I've tried to do it twice before, both times getting lost. After last year's fiasco, when I decided to come back with the marshalls from the top of the ridge, I complained about the inadequate signage, and so did several other people, and I was offered free entry to this year's, and given a promise that the signage would be much improved.
There was thick white mist first thing and I was in two minds whether to go at all, but it dispersed a bit so I went. Signage was indeed greatly improved, also the route had been changed slightly which possibly made it a little clearer where one was supposed to go. It certainly is a tough run; I had to walk quite a lot of the early part (some steep downhill on uneven ground with rocks and loose stones, some steep uphill on similar, then steep uphill on open grassy ground to the trig point at the top of the ridge where there were marshalls with drinks of water. After that it was mainly down, following the Offa's Dyke track (we actually ran from England into Wales and then back into England), then some road, then a path between high hedges, running on long wet grass with a choice of down-in-the-ruts or along the narrow bit between the ruts; and finally back into Huntington. I was last, not unexpectedly, but at least I was not lost. Not sure of the exact time (forgot to start Garmin until we were several minutes into the race) but around 1 hr 45 mins. Distance around 7 miles. Prizes were given, and I was amused to see that the prize for the first horse-rider was a box of chocolates and a bunch of carrots.