Sunday was the first ever run around the Olympic moutain biking course in Hadleigh, and let me tell you, it was tough!
so bright I have to squint!
congregating at the start
near the beginning and I am kind of with the group…..
There were all of the boulders that they used in the mountain biking, and boy, it was so hilly. This may sound daft, but it really didn’t look that hilly on the TV coverage of the races. Of course, they are professionals and they really do make it look easy, but even so, it was really hilly.
It was a two loop course, which of course meant going over all of the hills again, knowing what was coming up. Bearing in mind that I have only been running again for a week this was tough and I have lost a lot of fitness. I really struggled with the hills, and the mud – so, so muddy! We were lucky with the weather, it had been raining heavily all night, still raining in the morning, but about 20 mins before the race was due to start the sun came out! It was actually quite a pleasant, sunny day.
I really needed more energy part way around the course and I am not sure if that is because I didn’t eat lots of carbs the night before, I am unfit due to not having run for three weeks, or if it is just because it was a bloody tough race. The organisers even said it was the toughest one they have set up.
What really didn’t help was that I knew it was a 10K race and yet for some reason that was 3 miles in my brain. So, I am looking at my Garmin (set to miles) at 1.5 miles thinking yea I am half way around, then at 2 miles thinking blimey I am doing really well here – only 25 mins, I am going to set a serious PB here. Even though I knew I was struggling, some how I still thought I was up for a PB. The course markers were showing 2KM and I was thinking, no! That can’t be right!
I was only when I got to the 5K marker that I realised what a stupid mistake I had made. I really think that this made a difference to my race. I am really not sure how I made such an error, but I did and was rather disappointed when I realised what I had done!
This was my first race where there have been people from East Essex Tri there (my first in my club vest) and it was nice to see people (as they were doubling back) from my club, even though I don’t know people very well as I am too chicken to go to training. It was lovely at the end that they all waited at the finish line to cheer for me. My time was 1hr 28, which was definitely my slowest 10K, but I was just proud to have completed it, even though I did come fourth from last….
My lovely other half was great as well, cheering me on at various points in the race. And then going out and buying a baguette and some steak to make me a post race awesome sandwich.
What I haven’t said is how much I enjoyed the race -well the downhill bits at any rate, it was great fun running down a really muddy and quite steep hill, and I was grinning like a lunatic on the way down! All of my running is down in a slightly grim urban environment and I really do enjoy being out in nature a bit more. Hadleigh isn’t that far away from me, and although we are not allowed onto the course there is still a big nature park up there and I really should get out there more.
It was a bare bones race – no refreshment stands or anything, but they had warned us of that in advance. However Castle Point Joggers were lovely marshalls, with water and huge piles of jaffa cakes, mint kit kat and chocolate wafer biscuits being give out at the end. What more could you ask for?