This was my first race, it was a cold, dark 10Km in January.
The race took place at Polesden Lacy which is a National Trust property in Surrey. It was an evening race, run in the dark in the light of your own head torch.
My husband agreed to run this race with me for moral support, and as we drove up to the venue the heavens opened and we drove through a pretty horrific thunderstorm, which didn’t fill us with much confidence. At this point I had never run further than 8km in one go and I was feeling pretty nervous.
By the time we arrived the rain had stopped and the stars had come out, although the wind was still pretty bitter.
We had opted to run two laps of the 5km course and we were ready to go…
This is me at the beginning, nice and brightly coloured:
The race was billed as being mostly on path, so after much discussion at home we both went for our road running trainers, this was something of a mistake as the race was almost entirely off road and I wished I had worn my brand new inov8 Mudclaws.
The race started off across some fields and quickly entered a downhill section, which thanks to the rain earlier in the evening, was really quiet slippery! I quickly regretted both my choice of shoe and the glow sticks around my neck – very annoying to run with.
I lost my husband early on in the dark so ended up covering most of the distance by myself. There were a lot of steep uphill sections and perilous running through woodland, keeping an eye out for roots and debris from the earlier storm, with only the light of your head-torch to help you along.
There were several times when I had to stop and walk, but at least the running had staved off the cold.
Up a final hill and across a field and the 10Km runners started their second lap. In a way I found that the second lap was easier, at least I knew what was coming next! It was a relief to cross the line, and get my medal, I then hung around catching my breath and waiting for my hubby to catch up (not long).
In the end I managed this tough but fun 10Km run in 1h15mins which was 70th place over all and 25th female.
The only criticism I could say about the timing is that they started all the times at once and clocked you back in at the end, so the people at the back’s times wouldn’t be that accurate.