Rother Valley 10k (Road to Bournemouth week 23)

The best laid plans of mice and men and all that. This week I was supposed to do my last and longest long run before beginning to taper down to the Marathon, but what happened in reality was a sudden striking down with a sickness bug. It was swift and nasty, but thankfully short lived, it did, however, put paid to me running 20 miles!

By the end of the week I finally got out and plodded a 10k around Hastings, feeling much better, then at the weekend it was race time.

The Rother Valley 10k is a new race on the block, starting at the village of Northiam and taking you out for a hilly 10 kilometres to finish at Bodiam castle.

There is a steam train line that runs between Northiam and Bodiam and you could book discounted tickets to get back on the train if you so wished (we were lucky, we had supporters ready to give us a ride back to the car.) and the race started at the station in Northiam.

The race started up hill, and continued upwards for at least a kilometre and a half. Any flats on this race were short lived as you were soon down hill again, followed by more ups!

The race was set on quiet country lanes with very little traffic, and seemed pretty, when I paid attention and wasn’t cursing the hills. The course marking was excellent and unusually accurate for a road race, each KM sign being pretty much bang on according to my watch.

The downhill running was great fun, but there always felt like twice as much uphill, and  that was a struggle, especially coming off the back of the sickness bug from the beginning of the week. I stopped to walk on one hill but a lovely lady from Hastings Runners encouraged me to start running again before running off and leaving me for dust!

I felt like I struggled a lot during the race, and finished saying “god that was awful” but in hindsight although it was tough, I probably would do it again! One thing I do know it that despite visiting it many many times, I have never in my life been so pleased to see Bodiam Castle! It was a nice downhill to the finish, but as you came into the grounds at Bodiam and could see the finish tantalisingly ahead of you, you first had to veer off around the field to finish off the final few meters of the 10k run.

This was a very well run event for it’s first time, and well worth a look in the future.

Weekly running total: 20.3km

3 weeks to go…