Life likes to throw us these little curve balls. Everything seems to be going so…
The 10th Dirt Half Challenge
Challenge it was!
This has to be one of the most well-organised race I’ve been to. Even before I arrived I had a small panic: “race pack… I haven’t had my race pack!!” All I did was email them and within a few hours, I had a response and problem solved.
Race day; I got there at 8 am and got the best parking spot ever – nice and close, easy for my family fun bus to fit in normally a pain to get parked. I then went around the corner and what do I find? – coffee, yummy, yummy coffee (I love coffee)! I went inside, everyone was very friendly. At this race, I didn’t freeze my butt off like the one I did the other day where I didn’t regain feeling in my hands and feet for the majority of the race. We had a nice toasty, cosy warm hall to stand. I meet two lovely runners while waiting which always helps with the pre-race nerves if you know what I mean – ha.
So, time to race. What I wished I had done with this race was start a little bit closer to the front. I normally start further back just so I don’t get overtaken, this helps make me stay motivated. I mean, I should have realised towpath would mean limited overtaking potential, so definitely go closer to the front if you don’t want to be stuck. The first 6 miles went crazy quick. It was so flat and the distraction on trying to overtake and not fall in the canal helped take my mind off what was coming. We turned off the towpath and everyone around me slowed. Bit odd, so I asked them and they all said the same: ‘you’ll need flippers, get ready for the hill!’ The hill, oh the hill. It went on and on and on!
As you can see it was a bit of a shock but a really good challenge that I loved. I actually found the downhill sections far harder. I don’t really get jelly legs anymore especially on longer runs but, oh man, these hills gave me them big time! It was lovely running along the muddy tracks, up the hills, down the hills, then up again… oh, then down again! I soon got back to the canal, but to get there, I had to swim. Okay, maybe not swim, but it was very waterlogged, which was great, I mean you don’t enter a dirt running race and finish it completely clean and dry! I also only had 3 miles left to go so I was almost there. The rest of it was nice and flat so I was able to pick up the pace until… oh man; no one mentioned the steep finish… a nice steep hill just before the finish!
I did it finished and I was well pleased with my time.
Cross country is always harder and slower so 1 hour 46 minutes, I was well happy. I would highly recommend this race. I will be entering it again next year, and also some more cross country races I enjoyed it that much!