Read Liz Halliwell’s race report
Luckily I didn’t have time to get nervous before the race because I only knew I had a place the weekend before from a colleague who could no longer run. I wonder if it’s best not to have time to dwell on these things??
I travelled with my support entourage (2 teenage children) and we managed to find a free parking space with no trouble so it felt like the stars were aligning for a good run. We found the registration building and then best of all found Jennie Marshall there too – I was no longer alone, there were other Cotswold Allrunners!! Huge sigh of relief, now I felt as if I’d found someone who knew what they were doing to be in charge!! Sensibly we queued for the portable loos and here I encountered a new race phenomenon – the wobbly portable loo. I stepped inside and the whole structure was shaking from side to side – horrific!! I thought it was the whole row of them but apparently only mine, so a new race day moral – always check your portable loo has 4 feet on the ground before entering.
Enough wandering off the point…. Jennie and I did a creditable warm up and found the start line with time to spare. Then before we knew it we were off, two laps of the village where it was fairly impossible not to start off too fast in the crowd, plenty of shouting from my support crew and lots of spectators and by now the sun was shining beautifully. Then a long straight out of the village with a slight hill to it (but nothing compared to the hills we train on or the hill in the middle of Minch 10km as I tried to tell myself on the way up) and some beautiful snowdrops on the right hand side. To distract myself from the sweat of slogging up the road in the full sun (rookie error I had a t-shirt under my race vest thinking I might feel the cold!) I was waiting to see the leaders coming back the other way – the winning man was miles ahead of everyone else I think he did it in half an hour!! Managed to gasp a well done to him as he passed me, looking cool as a cucumber of course (him not me obviously I expect I was bright red and gasping!). Then I was keeping an eye out for Kim coming the other way and manged to give her a shout and before I knew it I was at the turning point – a bollard in the middle of the lane. I resisted the urge to pretend to be a plane as I cornered wildly and tried to recover myself on the way downhill. Thrilled to spot Jennie not far behind me and we managed another shout. Then just as I was trying to recall my 4 times table and getting muddled with the 8s in an effort to calculate if I could achieve a PB and how fast I needed to be going for the last few kilometres I also spotted Simon Barnes. Coming back into the village was lovely, lots of people on the roadside and of course the river and ducks on the left are idyllic. My support crew were there on the corner before my final lap of the village so that was lovely to get a personal cheer. The final lap of the village was hard, it felt like climbing up a mountain no matter how I told myself the finish was round the next corner. I tried to sprint the last 100m … all the while wondering where my support crew were – apparently they thought I had to finish with 2 laps of the village so missed me at the finish line!! Oh well a red faced photo as you puff over the line is never a good look!
No medals for this race – the prize was a blue cap, not 100% convinced about that but it may come in useful for summer runs. Found Jennie at the end (looking completely fresh faced) and realised we’d both achieved PBs. Apparently this is a course for PBs and on that score we both did well. Very well supported both the crowds and the 700 runners… so if you’re thinking of entering next year go for it but make a note of when the race opens for entries it sells out within an hour!!