I nearly didn’t go to this one – I’d had a rare bad nights sleep, a bit of a sore throat and woke up to heavy rain. Add in the fact that I was flying to Australia the next day, a wet muddy event didn’t seem too appealing.
But I did go, and I course I loved it 🙂 Sore throat disappeared, coffee woke me up and hey it wouldn’t be the first event I’ve done in the rain.
Castle Cary is only 40 minutes away but not somewhere I know well. In fact most of the time I just think of it as a train stop on the way to London. Although a few years ago when Somerset was flooded for months we did get the train from Castle Cary a few times – so I knew the way to the station and the event was close by.
It was a small event – around 150 people and is part of the 1610 Race Series – just realised as I wrote this that it was held on the 16th Oct!! Nice. 1610 are a group of gyms. I’ve done their events before and they are good value and well organised.
I got there at 9.15 and collected my bib, it was number 51 – only one number out – Ian said I should save it for next year lol! It was drizzling and overcast but I wandered around and checked out the start area. I got chatting with the timing mat guy and he said that some racers had already started ??? Apparently they were walkers and wanted to get a head start – Walkers? Yes!! What a good idea – the organisers were happy to let them start early and what a great way to encourage people to do their events – maybe next year they will try and run.
The next good idea they had was starting the race a few minutes early. We were all at the start line and the drizzle had turned to heavy rain. The race briefing had been done so the announcer just said “Let’s not hang around” “Let’s get this thing started” GO. Brilliant!
We ran across a field to a country lane and promptly stopped. There was a car coming the other way – probably shocked to see 150 people running straight at them. Once passed the car we turned off the lane into some fields and down a very steep slippy wet grassy hill – this gave us a superb veiw of the very steep slippy wet grassy hill going UP the other side…..and then down again and then up again. There were also around six styles to clamber over – all covered in mud – at this point I was very near the back so 130 muddy people had already climbed over.
I was loving it already – it’s suits my style of running, basically running with stops and walking 🙂 The whole course was pretty much up or down and the flatter bits were on bumpy trails. It was very pretty and the changing weather – the rain stopped and started the whole way round – made the scenery seem more dramatic, as the clouds moved above creating shadows and the sun tried in vain to peep through.
I spent the whole race with a grin on my face as I jumped over puddles, squished through mud, hiked up hills and skipped down slopes. I saw some poor woman fall into some nettles as she slipped on the grass, I managed to stay upright though. I also loved doing the 10k distance – longer than most of my recent runs.
Everyone around me was very friendly and in good spirits. We all laughed when the Marshals said things like, “it’s easier from here” – it wasn’t or “it flattens out a bit now” – it didn’t. But nobody cared and before long the finish line was in sight. Despite being a very cheap race to enter – £8 we got a nice medal and a very useful water bottle with a handle.
Then home and back to my packing. Next stop Australia. Next Event Melbourne parkrun 🙂