Came back again to run this lovely race. The terrain is offroad with some challenging hills – it is not easy. But it is immense fun and everyone is so friendly. The field was mixed with locals as well as club runners. The day dawned with lovely blue skies and it was quite warm. Got parked easily and picked up my number. Had a look around at the stalls and was tempted by the cakes and BBQ. Plenty of toilets too.
We were given a 10 minute warning to get into the time pens then at 11am we were off.
The route was the same as last year, around the back of a field then up onto the Ayot Greenway which runs from Welwyn to Wheathampstead. We then veered off there and along the edge of a field. Hills were ever present and I admit to having to walk. I’d set off to try and achieve a 50minute finish time but there was no way my ‘long distance legs’ were playing ball with that. At around 6k I walked up the hill which goes alongside and across a field. I then had a total leg fail just after 8k so I did another little walk. I finished strong though so the strategy worked.
The support was lovely and I saw a few faces I knew so had a nice chatter to them and waved at others.
Gun time 52.48, Chip time 52.32, Overall 213/566, Female 49/241, Category FV45-54 12/64.
Remind me – didn’t I say I would never run a marathon? Well here we are.
So the story goes – I entered the ballot because I wanted the nice winter training tshirt. Normal people wait for years to get a ballot place so I was utterly gosmacked and in a state of shock when the magazine with a woman dressed as a bee on the front landed on my doorstep.
Shiiiiiiit! so what was I supposed to do? I really had no compunction to run a marathon BUT I had a challenge presented to me. Not to be overdone by this I decided to have a go – what did I have to lose?
My ‘training’ was sporadic, I knew I needed to build up the mileage but all of a sudden I detested the thought of going for a run! I pressed on, knowing that if I did not train I would fail. I took most of February off and went to India for a holiday.
When I got back from India I could not find my mojo, but eventually I gave myself a talking to and set out on my quest to find some mileage. I crammed the last few long runs into the 4 weeks prior to the event. Only after I’d done 20 miles a fortnight before did I feel capable.
The event was brilliant. 26.2 miles flew by, encouraged by fellow competitors and the crowds! the atmosphere was amazing, I kept a lookout for Mike but didn’t see him which was disappointing, but knowing he was there made a huge difference. I don’t want to run another one, doing this one, The Big One was simply brilliant (although I have entered the ballot again and am hoping for the tshirt….)
I GOT THE MEDAL and the finishers tshirt
Finish time 4.20.35. Overall 19483/39001, Female 5145/15059. Category 436/1275
Is history going to repeat itself? No. Not planning to do many HMs this year. But had to do this one as a gauge for my pace for another race this year. And it is the second time this event has been held and I wanted to take part.
Same route but this time I thought I would be running alone. Met up with and chatted to a variety of folks along the way, including an ex colleague, Annie, who I ran for about 8 miles with.
As we got to within 2 miles of the finish there was a chap not looking too happy, he had lost his running vibe and was walking. It was my turn to repay the favours that others had bestowed upon me so I took him by the hand and we ran together. I gave back the support and encouragement to get this man up Chequers and along the path to Gosling. He then said he was OK and I ran off to finish. I was announced across the line as having knocked 6 minutes off my time from last year.
Met up with the chap when he was getting his tshirt and he gave me a huge hug, I was so happy he had finished in, as he said, a far better time than he imagined.
Got my medal, tshirt and another water bottle
Gun time: 1.51.18. Chip time 1.50.45. Overall 191/462. Female 47/194. Category W50 2/17.
Entered this at short notice – 3 mile run at University of Hatfield deHavilland campus in aid of Sports Relief.
Chilly start but as numbers grew so we huddled together to stay warm. Lady Mayoress started us off and we went along the fields behind the university. Loved being offorad, didn’t like the headwind very much.
Battled along and ran hard to discover I was first lady finisher
Medal presented by lady Mayoress.
Gun time 23.36. Overall 8/86. Female 1/55
After last years brilliant event I did it again. Ran 7k alone this time and still enjoyed myself.
The atmosphere was just as energised as last year, and as dusk fell the day-glo clad torch wielding mass of runners set out along the same route as last year. This year it was much wetter as we had had loads of rain. Ooozy puddles had to be avoided and the hearing sense switched on to pick up the change in foot-fall noise as well as the squelshy feeling underfoot.
The cows were in the same field as us and they huddled in the middle mooing as we went by. There were sheep in another and they too formed a woolly baaing mass as we galloped on through.
As we got to the top of the hill, I remembered to look back, and was not disappointed. Again the long snake of light wove its way across the fields. Spectacular.
Got to the finish line with a decent sprint and collected my glow in the dark medal and goodie bag.
Gun time 36.25. Overall 51/303. FEmale 8/190. Category V50 2/23.
YAY!!! This year I did it.
As for Thoresby 10k, we went up the night before and spent some time with Dad and his lady friend, went to the Double Barrel for a steak as big as your face and stayed in the same hotel.
We drove down in tandem – dad followed us as we were heading straight home and he was going to lunch somewhere else. Mikes parents also came so we had a proper family gathering.
The Longhorn is Thoresby 10 backwards (or is it the other way around?). Either way it was great, it felt very different and I think I prefer it the Thoresby way. I saw Caroline (who beat me last time) who was marshalling – was fab to run by and hear her cheering on.
Approaching the finish line with the family there was brilliant.
Collected my medal AND a trophy for coming first in category
Gun time 51.50. Chip Time 51.38. Overall 39/308. Female 9/209. Category F50 1/17.
Another attempt at the Hatfield 5 mile. Same starting point and same route. Some people who I know and a sea of faces that I didn’t. Rain was forecast but not until after the event – decided to wear not-rain gear and keep fingers crossed.
Ran well, ran hard but suffered towards the end. Walked a bit as I felt a little nauseous but as it is with these races, fellow competitors and marshals gave me lots of encouragement to move up a gear. When ‘you’ve got 400 meters to go’ was heard I dug deep and got the energy to gallop across the line.
And as I collected my medal and water bottle it began to rain.
Gun time 38.15. Chip time 38.06. Overall 139/391. Female 38/208. Category W50 4/29.