Lesley Pymm reports: I am really pleased that I have left this a while before doing the race report as I felt a bit fed up at the end of the event and, had I written it then, it would have been a bit negative. It turns out that I had a really horrid cold and was not at my best, so that was probably why it seemed so bad!
The event took place just outside Stourport. The sun had been shining as I drove there, but when I arrived at the start area the mist had come down and it was absolutely freezing. My teeth were literally chattering and I was physically shaking with the cold. They got the urns slightly warm, so I sat in the car with a cup of lukewarm coffee feeling sorry for myself until I really had to get moving. We were told that the 8 mile course was now a bit shorter – turned out to be about 7.25 miles.
Eventually we set off and it had started to warm up a bit. We ran along the perimeter of a field and the turned off and saw the first hill ahead – well you couldn’t miss it! I was pleased that I had gloves on as it was very slippery and I had to put my hands down a few times. It was quite a long climb and then at the top I was able to run again. We were running over fields and I was a short distance behind a man who went straight ahead. I looked at the signs and thought it looked as if I should be going right.
I went right, but was not convinced. I jogged along and eventually came to a couple of marshals who confirmed I was on the right path. There was no one in front that I could see and I couldn’t hear anyone behind. I’m afraid I just carried on jogging! I ran about 5 miles without seeing another runner and then at about 6 miles I was caught by a trio of runners. One of these chucked a plastic drinks bottle on the ground (really close to some sheep and a horse) so I told her off and she went back for it.
We then started the last big climb up to the trig point with the Union Flag flying. There was a marshal there and I advised the young woman to give him her bottle! Last year some runners had not run up to the trig and we were told in the briefing that if we didn’t we would be in big trouble as it would be seen as showing disrespect to the flag! It was a good climb up, around the trig and then a good run down.
There was a very steep, slippery downhill which I was a bit worried about and then it was an easy finish. I was being shouted in as I knew a lot of other runners there – I was the only BvH member.
No medals or T shirts for those who are into that sort of thing (I’m not) but there was a great pie. It was big enough for both of us for our evening meal and there was a choice of different bottled beers. There was a choice of pies – including veggie but not vegan.
So – great course, great pie and beer. Hot drinks and cakes to buy after. What’s not to like? Well, there are a couple of things!! I had written to them in July to ask that they got the ages of runners. I said that this was nothing to do with prizes, but just the results. They just did seniors and masters (over 40), and I pointed out that some of us are in our 60s and 70s so it would be good if we could show up on the results as such. I didn’t even get a reply. The other minor moan is that the marshals, with a few notable exceptions, didn’t say anything. They just stood there, many of them fiddling with mobile phones or similar. A bit of motivation would have been good, especially for the old dear who was running on her own for most of the event. Generally though, it was a good event for good causes and would benefit from more entries.