My first “running only” race was on 14th September, at Alice Holt Forest, near Farnham.
It was advertised as an “off-road, multi-terrain undulating course”, and was pretty much as I expected – some small areas of mud and puddles, and narrowish paths, but mostly pretty good forest tracks with quite a bit of up-and-down (about 170m ascent and descent according to Bikely) but nothing to stop me in my tracks.
I cycled there from my sister’s house, and the back route I took was quite hilly, so I was a bit more “warmed up” (=knackered) than I intended.
I was a bit nervous when I saw how many club runners and proper fit people there were, and wondered whether I’d bitten off more than I could chew. I started right at the very back of the starting funnel, rather than in the middle of the crowd.
We were started off by a Town Crier, and the start was very slow and congested, but once the field had spread out a bit we got a bit of a move on.
I was pleased that I managed to run up the hills when others were walking, although my slow steady pace became a bit slower and less steady. I was quite knackered by the end, but did manage a bit of a dash for the line and finished in 1:02:59 (140th out of 188 women in the race). I was quite glad to hear more experienced runners describe it as a tough course.
Then ice cream and beer beckoned, and it would have seemed rude not to answer their calls.
My only major frustration is that my bastard Garmin 405 chose that day of all days to cut out, revert to factory settings and lose all my data, including all my heartrate and pace data from my first ever race.