Lesley Pymm reports: I had not done the Gate Gallop for a few years, and thought it was about time I ran it again. This is a lovely event in aid of St Giles Trust. A cycling friend of mine died last year at the St Giles Hospice in Whittington, so I had more reason to run the event. The last few times I had run this 10k it had been very warm, so I was quite relieved when it turned out to be relatively cool on Sunday. Listening to the instructions for the shorter fun run which started an hour before my event, I decided to wear studs as they said that it was muddy out there and ‘you will get wet feet’.
I had warmed up and was hanging around near the start/finish area waiting to start (the 10k does not begin until the last person is back from the 4.4k) when the organiser came up and recognised me from previous years. He introduced himself and said it was good to see me back again. I thought that was really lovely!
Soon after 11.15 we started. There is the bit that I don’t like – where we all ran a lap of the field first before heading out of a gap in the far corner. I suppose it is better to do a lap at the beginning rather than the end of a run, but I don’t like it! I was pleased to get out and leave the BBQ and everything behind me and start to run on paths and fields around the North Warwickshire Moors.
It is a fairly level course without too many problems. There were a couple of drink stations on the course, although I remember that they have put extra water out in previous years when it has been very hot – so they do look after the runners. It was lovely running alongside fields with poppies growing amongst the crops – I’m sure the farmers are not quite so pleased about it!
Towards the end, probably at about 4.5 miles, we started to get a few stiles to clamber over. It was not muddy though, so ordinary trail shoes would have been fine.
I had a bit of a cold and, although I tried my hardest, I was not going very well. I enjoyed the run, but was pleased when I got to the final run in. I overtook a couple of people at the end. When I finished, the organiser had remembered my name and said well done and made sure I got water etc. There was a decent re-usable bag with some useful bits and pieces in it as well as a medal.
There were showers and then I got myself a coffee and cake and watched the presentations. There is a team prize as well as individuals, but I was the only one from BvH. A friendly event that I will do again.