Jennie Marshall and Val Kirby have written their report on the Mayhill Massacre, Sunday 3 February 2019.
Mayhill Massacre is an annual, 9 mile event that runs mostly on forest trails up and around the well-known Forest of Dean landmark, May Hill. Always muddy, this year the route had added challenges as about half was frozen, and the other half was pretty evenly split between mud and dry trail. The event starts at the garden centre in Huntley, at the foot of May Hill – great for that end of run coffee!
The first three Ks are up May Hill itself. It was a crisp clear day and the views from the top were lovely, looking west to the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons. It was very cold and icy up there; hard to imagine that seven years ago Val’s son and daughter in law got married on top of the hill- in summer of course.
After the big climb, the route runs downhill and wanders around the forest, until the last 2 K which feature a long up-hill slog on a wet and muddy path followed by a fast downhill stretch to the finish.
Jennie shot off at the start and came a brilliant second in her group, with a time of 1.33.31. Val expected to be – and was! – much slower, coming in at 2.03.47. The 9 milers shared the day with an even tougher group who ran 15 miles – 2 laps of the forest – and a canicross group.
This was medal 4 of Val’s 70th year challenge raising money for Alzheimer’s Research – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Val-Kirby1 – and a good session for Jennie who is training for a Half Iron Man event in June.