Lesley Pymm reports: I had not done this race for a few years, but I remember enjoying it then! This was twelve miles, multi-terrain running and part of my Grizzly build up. At the race HQ, I overheard a couple of men talking and agreeing that it was like a ‘mini-Grizzly’. The race HQ is at a school in Dursley and there is a walk of 10 minutes or so to the start. We were all penned into the start area, and then the event started and off we went. A few yards downhill on the road then it was a left turn and uphill, still on road to start off with. I was passed by many people here, but also overtook a few who were already walking.
We then went onto a muddy path – and I remembered the ‘trip ‘hazard’ there from last time. Still climbing we went into the woods. Eventually came out onto the golf course, and I could see the front runners had already finished that bit and were running off the golf course. I went a short way onto the grass and then was directed off and into the woods again, a bit of a loop and then I was back on the golf course and bantering with a cyclist who kept telling me I was nearly there! I don’t think so.
Off the golf course and onto a woody path which I followed for a while before crossing a road and onto another path. At some point I passed ‘Hilltop House’, which again I remembered from last time. They were getting their Sunday lunch ready in the kitchen. The house literally seems to cling to the top of the hill.
After a bit a track, it was down a very muddy and slippery path to Watery Bottom. At this point I was running with a woman from East London Runners. She had been given the entry by her uncle for her birthday – he was ahead slightly, but kept waiting for her. She muttered that she was going to ask for prosseco next year – but I have seen her comments since she finished and she loved it. At Watery Bottom we were directed off the track and onto another muddy path again going uphill.
The path twisted and turned and there were stiles to climb. Eventually I got to the bit that I had been waiting for – the Precipice. This is so steep that there are ropes to pull up on. I had assumed that the faster runners would just bound up it and that it got churned up, so that slower runners had a hard time of it. Not so, apparently the first runners needed ropes too. Well, the good news was that I passed a couple of people on the climb. They were really struggling and I loved the climb.
At the top there was a fairly long ridge run before getting to the golf course again and running back to the path through the woods that we had used on the way out. A loop through the woods and then I could see that there were houses coming up, must be somewhere near the end. I then came out of the trails and onto the road we had come up on the way out. The finish was in the town by the old market place.
A good run. I had told Mike that I expected to take about 3 hours and I did it in 3.02, so no complaints there. It was a bit over 12 miles, but who is counting? Good cakes and facilities, cakes and hot drinks, technical T shirt for those who are interested in such stuff.