Linda Howell reports: With a large Bournville Harriers presence in Wolverhampton, it was left to me and Steve Hopkins to fly the teal flag in Kenilworth.
Heavy rain greeted me when I arrived, but this eased off by the time we set off leaving near perfect running conditions. The course is undulating out, loop and back course, run on some lovely rural roads in the Kenilworth country side.
As we set off, with me aiming to practice running at 8 minute miles, I wondered why some of the runners had started in the same time zone as I was passing lots of people. This was explained when I hit the 1 mile marker in 6:30, OK, not to plan, but I felt good and figured I could slow down if I started to struggle.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first 6 miles, happily being pulled along by a chap with a great south swim t-shirt on. After this we hit a couple of cheeky inclines which were a bit more of a challenge than the steady undulations we’d previously dealt with. It was around this time I got chatting to a chap from Evesham, I say chatted, he chatted, I panted one word answers, and I latched onto him for the next few miles.
As we hit the 10mile marker and I discovered that perhaps one slice of toast and a cup of tea 3 hours prior to the race was probably not sufficient fuel for my now slightly wobbly legs, someone introduced a long steady incline. At some point during this my legs decided that straight lines were old hat and that they would rather start weaving left to right a bit. The last mile is pretty much flat and down hill, but after a couple of challenging inclines, I struggled to take advantage of the relatively easy profile.
I was very pleased to see the left turn into the leisure centre grounds and the short path to the finish line being graced by some very loud supporters.
All in all a really good race, well organised and a nice route through the country side. By its nature support is limited, but the marshalls did a great job of cheering and encouraging. There were plenty of water stations ably attended by scouts and brownies and the local cyclists provided much needed support. I’m also pleased to say that Kenilworth has a strong cake baking fraternity and the chocolate cake I indulged in was top notch and worth re-introducing cake ratings to race reports – 10/10 ☺