Posted: Yesterday at 18:59
What: 5km offroad race followed by 3 hours in the garden
Why: the weather allowed the gardening, the cup dictates the races
Last hard: today, both running and gardening, I'm tired!
So I was aiming for a sub 25, but wasn't feeling 100% when I started, so decided to take it easy. The route was meant to be marked by yellow arrows (more on that later). I've done this race twice before, so I knew the rough direction we were meant to be going in.
The first 500 m is through the village, before climbing up through the woodland. I was doing well on the uphill, keeping a good steady pace going, and even overtaking a fair number of people. I knew that the hill went until about 2.3 km, then it was downhill from there. 1st km was 5 min, 2nd was 6 min (steeper hill). The ground was very uneven and very very muddy in parts.
Then the downhill started. There were still a lot of people around me, and ahead I could see a water point. Here I realised that the 5, 9 and 18 km were all running together. I asked at the water point if 5 km was to the right and they said yes. Good, remembered this bit, and although I'd lost everyone in front of me (10 and 18 went to the left). Some other runners who had clearly gone the wrong way, came in the other direction (back up the hill!). I kept a beady eye out for the yellow arrows. I couldn't see any, but having done the course before, I knew that I had to turn right at some point and then down some switch backs . I found where I thought it was, but there were no arrows. I trusted myself and turned, and saw a very faint arrow on the ground. I still had someone behind me, and so kept going, despite the fact my thighs were screaming at this point ("WHY DID YOU DO 3 RACES IN 8 DAYS YOU IDIOT").
Then I knew I had to do a left turn (again no real arrow, but remembered from last year). The runner was still behind me and I turned onto the very very muddy, slippery, narrow path, and ran as fast as I could without falling. Suddenly I could see someone in front of me. Then I heard shouting (I guess someone had gone the wrong way, but wasn't sure). Kept going, and got back to the hut near where the loop starts, I knew I'd gone the right way, phew.
Back onto solid ground, through the village and chased the guy in front of me to the end (not overtaking him unfortunately). One of my friends had already finished and told me I was 3rd woman (turned out he'd missed one, so was actually 4th!).
Half the runners had not turned at the start of the switchback, and had ended up running a similar length, asphalt route, some of the 5 km runners had run the 9 km, it was all a bit of a disaster. The poor organisers were stressing, it really wasn't their fault, the heavy storms had washed away the arrows.
Anyway, I think I came 4th woman, I think I was possibly 1st in the age group (though results aren't out yet), and at least I ran the right way! Time was ~25:35 or so.
3 hours of gardening has finished me off, so an early night for me!
Don look after yourself
LMH glad you got out for your run
OH enjoy your trip down south (ish)
Have a great evening all