I had only heard about this race on Wedensday and turned up to be greeted by 30 very friendly runners. I had worn my Brighton marathon training shirt and within minutes I had met 3 ladies who were running to. We set of to the starting line and before I knew it we were off. Sheep scattered everywhere as we set off and within a minute we had stopped again.......there was queue of people trying to get over the gates. This carried on for the first mile, stop, start, stop, start. It was really muddy and wet and slipperly and I had to laugh at the women pussy footing around the puddles, me, I just bulldozed my way through and took on the mission of getting everyone else muddy too!! Once we got going I checked my garmin, 8.30 minute miles!! Wow that was impressive especially considering the ground we were on, I was on fire. I thought to myself, I have special gin powers, ( I gave in and had a gin and tonic last night) and made a mental note to drink more gin!
I kept the pace up and soon we were running down the long 2 mile stretch of Shapwick nature reserve. This stretch is very bleak, no shelter and the driving wind catches you unaware and that when the downpour started it cut into the very being of your soul. But then I remembered I had special gin powers and I kept going. The sun started to shine and then I saw the most weirdest, beautiful rainbow. Instead of curving over it was lying parallel to the field, mental note number 2, go dig some holes in the field and look for pots of gold.
At the end of the nature reserve there stood a lonesome marshall and he had a massive tub of wait for it.......chocolate mini eggs!!! In my hurry to grab some I missed and as I went back the young lady I had kept at bay overtook me. I took off after her and realised that you really shouldnt try and eat mini chocolate eggs whilst running especially at race pace. We were directed off road again in a really muddy lane, each marshall was warning of how bad it was getting. Now I've never been in a race where I have thought that "geez my training is really paying off " until that point. I felt strong, we were coming up to 5 miles, thats how long it normally takes me to settle doen into a good rythmn and then it happened it just clicked. I overtook so called young lady who had overtaken me and quite a few others. I was aware I was coming up to the 10k mark, checked the time and it was 55 mins, thats 2 mins faster than my PB and it was x country.
The last mile was horrendeous, deep ruts, hilly, puddles you could swim in and I have to say I quite fancied throwing myself into one of those puddles. The marshall was impressed with my puddle running and took lots of pictures as I ran through screaming I love getting dirty ( oooo errr missus). The guys in front were walking but I didnt, up the slipperly hill I went. "you look too fresh " shouted a marshall " you must have walked" to which I responded "no way, not like those 2 guys up front" who then suddenly miraclously started running again. They were a friendly bunch and as I overtook them they were shouting " go Brighton, go, go, go". I could still hear them shouting as I crossed the finish line.
The guys I had overtaken invited me to their running club, that was 3 different invites from 3 different running clubs in one day, not bad.
My time was 1.10.20 thats 7.55 miles, thats not the official time, but my garmin auto pauses especially when queuing to get over gates, so expect my official time to be more.
The club had laid on a fantastic buffet of cake, hot cross buns and sandwhiches, what a glorious touch. I throughly enjoyed this race and the whole community spirit and only came in 3 mins behind the leading lady. I am converted, I will do more cross country, the muddier the better.