It was so nice to start this week knowing that the hard work was done. No long run to dread on my day off! Instead I did a little run on Monday round the park, and a second one on Tuesday with my friend Linda, I did a few more kilometres at a HIIT class and finally a couple more at my PT session and that was it for training leaving me with the 21km Maverick trail race to do, something we probably shouldn’t have booked the week before the marathon, but my planning isn’t always perfect!
The race was only about an hour from home, so it didn’t require a crazy early start. Registration was well organised and we soon had our numbers pinned to our fronts ready to go.
The race was based at Groombridge Place, and had three distances to choose from. The course split immediately after the start line, in front of the house, taking the short and medium distance people off to the right, and the long course people to the left.
I headed left up the path and we were soon directed up a narrow path uphill. At this point it was single file, so if you were trying to race you needed to be near the front. It could have got very frustrating as you really couldn’t pass people and the line had already slowed to a walk. Since I was taking it easy in preparation for next weekend I wasn’t too worried and was happy to power walk the hill until I was able to pass a few people and run again.
The course was beautiful, through muddy trails, woodland paths, and up over hills with gorgeous views. None of the hills were too killer on the way up, although some were muddy and tricky to navigate on the way back down.
It was a beautiful autumn day, the sun was shining and it was the perfect temperature for running. The course was well marked, although I did see one man miss the sign that directed you off the path into the trees with a little note that said it was less boggy that way, and had ended up knee deep in mud!
The whole course was really enjoyable, from the muddy trails in the woods, with ponies looking at you bemused over fences, to plodding through farmers fields. It could well be my favourite run of the year so far.
Having done two Maverick races now, both of which have been excellent, I can’t recommend them enough. I’m looking forward to trying out their Dark series in November and December. If you like trail running, get a Maverick race on your calendar!
Week 25 running total: 37.4km
1 week to go…