Lesley Pymm reports: I had not done this event for a few years and was looking forward to it. What I had not realized was that the course had changed and it has gone from 8k to 10k. I can’t compare my time with anything else then. When I got there it was chucking it down with rain. I dithered about whether to wear spikes or studs and, eventually, went for spikes as it was raining. I think this was a mistake, but never mind. Mike went and got coffee and then sat in the car reading the paper – hence no photos. I warmed up and then waited for the start.
Of course, the rain stopped and then the sun came out. We did a half lap and then two full laps. It all started to look familiar and I was waiting for a sneaky little hill that I remembered, but it didn’t come and I was running past the end of the small loop and heading for the woods to start the first full lap. I love the bit in the woods and was gaining on people. Out of the woods and climbing up onto a ridge – really enjoyed it.
Then it was downhill on a stony path and I was passed a couple who were running together. Then it was a grassy path and I had just passed another woman who I had been chasing for a while. I could hear a faster runner behind me and moved over to let him pass. I’m not sure what happened then, I think my spike caught something as the ground was still quite hard as the rain had not soaked in. Anyway, I went flying and slid along the path banging my head on the ground.
The woman I had just passed stopped to offer help, as did the couple I had passed. I told them I was OK and that they should get going again. I still wanted to beat them and couldn’t do that if they had all stopped to help me! I got up and started to run. I was pretty winded and a bit slow, but it started to get easier. After a while I passed the couple again. I thought about pulling out but decided against it.
I was catching up with the woman and finally did overtake her at about the same place on the final lap. Then I just had to keep going. I kept my lead and finished strongly.
I am still finding grazes – they are all down my back, as well as bruising on my hip and a sore arm. I finished though, but will have an easier week until the weekend. It seems that the sneaky little hill was cut out a couple of years ago at the request of the people who manage Ampthill Park, for conservation reasons – so that is fair enough, it is a lovely park.