Aldbury XC 5 – 17 April 2016

Lesley Pymm reports:  This is a very low key event near Tring – but close to where my sister lives and this was all part of a bid to get her to do their local parkrun the day before (that was a bit of a failure – but that’s another story).  The weather for parkrun had been bitterly cold with sleet – and loads of mud.  The weather for the Aldbury run looked so much more positive – wall to wall sunshine.  We were warned at registration about the mud, so I was pleased I had studs on.

After a very short run over the playing field we crossed the road and started to climb.  I usually get stuck behind people on this climb, but this year it was different.  Owing to the chalk, some runners were finding it slippery and moving over to the right had side where there was more grip – I was able to pass up the chalk on the left.  On reaching the top we turned and ran along the ridge and up to the monument at Ashridge.  We carried on through the woods and eventually passed lots of beautiful bluebells.

Then out of the woods and onto the Ridgeway Path.  This took us down to cross the road again and then to start climbing Pitsford Hill.  Looking over the old quarry there, I could see Red Kites flying – fantastic.  More climbing and then I was running back down through woods again.  I was still waiting for the mud.  I was running with a woman who was doing her first race and really enjoying it.  I commented that there wasn’t much mud after the warnings at the start and that maybe it would be the path that we run on at the end.

When we got to that path (which wasn’t very muddy) she was alongside me, and I told her that if she was going to pass me I would prefer it if it was along there rather than on the final run in on the playing field (where everyone was watching), but she said she had nothing left!  Then we were on to the field and running towards the finish.  I wasn’t taking any chances and went for it.  Her clubmates were all shouting her on, but she really couldn’t go any faster!  He father was there at the end (aged 90) and looking very proud of her.  It was great.

There were coffee and sarnies included in the entry fee as we sat in the sun before driving home.  Another enjoyable run.

Aldbury 5