Croome Capability Canter – 18 November 2012

Sara Rock reports: Seven Bvhers headed off in below zero temperatures to Croome to tackle one of Runners World’s top rated trail races – the cold plus tired legs from cofton sessions or masters cross country relays the day before meant talk on the journey was less than enthusiastic – until we saw the beautiful grounds of this national trust property.

The location of the race start is engineered for one purpose only – to make it hard! Basically you walk down a big hill to the start and then spend the first few minutes of the race running back up it! There is then a downhill section and you head out on paths around the grounds, taking in the wonderful scenery and then out into the fields, up a few more hills.

At the top of one, it was still so cold that the grass was all frosty white and sparkly in the sunshine, despite being out of breath, I couldn’t help but marvel at how wonderful it looked.

There is then quite a lot of running round what I had perceived in our warm-up-reccy as ‘lakes’ (but actually turned out to be waterlogged fields!) and every single step was an energy-zapping ‘splosh’ or ‘slop’ though boggy, muddy grass.

There was a ‘water feature’ but it was not very deep by Senneleys or Suicide Six standards but a few sheep crossing the course to make up for it! The chat I had en-route with an Evesham Vale runner who commented on not only BvH’s big turnout, but also our braveness in wearing just vests and shorts in the frosty conditions, was a prime example of how well supported and friendly this race is.

The latter part of the 6.5mile race is through wooded areas, with lots of twists and turns and without anyone visibly in front of me, I had to slow down to navigate the arrows amongst the trees. Linda (who was some way in front of me) suffered from this aswell and others behind us gained some ground, including the third lady who I had passed a bit earlier.

This is when you really appreciate race supporters. The last section of the race is basically back up a gravel path to the top of the steep hill that we ran down at the start – I knew this would be a killer. As I came running back into the grounds , a Malvern Jogger confirmed that there was a lady 20 seconds behind me and this gave me the motivation to tackle the hill with gusto.

However, about half way up it, I was struggling not to give up and walk, when Stu (who had just won the Male vet’s race) appeared and told me to take my time, I had 50yds grace and so I relaxed and managed to hang on to the end, nearly collapsing when I got across the line and for the third time in as many races, being asked if I was OK by the marshalls!

Linda was already home as female race winner, and Julie was not far behind me. Leonie and Anthony who are new to BvH had great races, both looking really strong coming along the finishing straight. Lesley yet again showed her characteristic endurance by racing on two consecutive days.

I was a bit disappointed to find the ladies vet category was over 40 and not 35 and so I missed out on a fashionable pair of race sunglasses!, but with two of the four prizes going to Bvh and a free cup of tea and flapjack (kindly provided by Mike), it was a very successful day for BvH.

  • When it was all over we all agreed:
  • The goody bags were great!
  • There are few races in such beautiful surroundings
  • There is no race we have ever run that has such a hard hill at both the start and finish!

Lesley Pymm adds: There was a smattering of teal at the Capability Canter this year. This is a run in its’ third year now, and gaining popularity as it gets to be better known.

It has an uphill start and finish, but apart from that is pretty flat really. This year, thanks to the recent rains, it was pretty muddy. I was a few minutes slower than last year, but not surprised as it was a bit gloopy in places.

It was a lovely day, cold with wall to wall sunshine. The event takes place at Croome Park, a National Trust property with landscape gardens designed by Capability Brown.

Linda Howell was first woman, closely followed by Sarah Rock. Julie Delahaye-Slater was 6th woman and Leonie Clitherow 15th – shame there wasn’t a team prize!

Stuart Pearson was 4th overall and 1st M40. Linda and Stuart won entries to next years event, so we’ll all be back there doing it again then – come and join us!!

There was another BvH runner who I think must be very new. He did not show on the entry list or results as BvH, and his vest had the folds in it, so I think this may have been its’ first outing! I don’t know your name, but well done!

Full results.

13 Replies to “Croome Capability Canter – 18 November 2012”

  1. Hi Hana, No, not yet, but it is one I have looked at over the years. I have just checked the date and it clashes with my cycling club annual audax, so it is unlikely that I will be doing it this year. Shame it would have been good to meet up. I will be doing Black Death Run again – are you up for it in May?

  2. Hi Lesly, sadly the grizzly is full and so far i have managed to avoid this race. Daughter and I are contemplating the “Offa’s Orror” in April. Have you run this 20K race????

  3. Done that too Hana – not many down there that I have not done! Have you done the Beat of Bodmin? I don’t think it takes place any more. That was good. Grizzly every year! Are you in that?

  4. So if you enjoyed Drogo then try The Five Tors moorland race at the beginning of April. 10 miles across Bodmin moor, 5 tors to run up and views to die for. If it’s wet, then bogs to run through as well. ask my daughter about it or read my blog on Truro running club web site.

  5. Hana – I love the Drogo 10 – and last time I did it there were a few others from BvH there. Well done on it.

  6. Well done everyone at BvH re your off road run. Nice photo of my daughter. Think of us in Devon and Cornwall who ran the National Trusts “Drogo 10” on the same day. 10 miles of mud and hills to make you cry. Report on Truro Running club Blog, you should try it another year.

  7. Hi Antony, Sorry I didn’t get a chance to say hello as you went past me on Sunday! You can’t have been going too slowly, Mike did take a photo of you, but unfortunately it is blurred so that must have been something to do with the speed you were going at. See you again somewhere. Say ‘Hello’! Yes Suz, it is a good run.

  8. Some awesome performances and a great report- well done all 🙂

  9. Well done Linda and Stuart on excellent performances in the 2012 Croome Capability Canter.Congratulations to all the BvHers who successfully completed what was clearly a tough and challenging course. `When the going gets tough,the tough get going!`I am encouraged that new members,like Antony,are getting involved in so many races/Club activities.This bodes well for our future.
    Well done everyone.
    Barrie Roberts

  10. This was my second outing in Teal, but yes Lesley the folds were probably still visible in my vest!

    The first was a baptism by fire at Leamington in the first of the XC League races; on the second lap of that I was so close to giving up but the BvH support around the course (especially on the ‘mound’) kept me going; on the last lap I was thinking never again, but the fantastic support by fellow BvH runners and supporters at the finishing straight encouraged me to finish with a flourish!

    The support and encouragement was repeated at Croome, especially at the finishing straight where after a gruelling climb I so wanted to walk but instead sprinted (well .. it was a sprint for me!); it really makes a difference being part of the club; I would like to thank everyone who has welcomed me to the ‘fold’.

    Unfortunately we were not able to stay for the prize giving due to daughter No.1 having a dance commitment, so well done to everyone!

  11. This sounds a hard but intresting race in a great location too.well done to all of you that took part.Nice to see Leonie in teale too 🙂