Mike Scotney reports: The weather gods were smiling, another fine day for a race. I only entered earlier in the week, rationalising that if I was going to do a long run this weekend, it may as well be in a race!
I hadn’t run more than 10 miles in a single run since the Chester Marathon back in October last year, but memory is a fickle thing; I’d forgotten that leaden legged feeling that your body uses to defend itself from abuse!
Only half an hour up the road, this was another of those excellent organised events, with willing and friendly supporters and a real mix of all abilities; some performed strides across the fields in warming up, others did star jumps with a local aerobics teacher and the Lichfield fire brigade!
We left from King Edward school in the town and were curiously squeezed through a narrow exit before hitting the road away from the town, taking in some pretty villages up to Fradley. I was running with Terry D and a new BVH member, Jon, and it really was one of those mornings that makes you glad to run!
There was literally a one mile hill between miles 1 and 2, but at the crest of this it was good to establish a rhythm before we turned sharply down some country lanes, past fields of yellow rape seed in bloom (great for the hay fever!) and past some farms and small villages. I was surprised to hit the 10km mark at 42 minutes and then had a further surge of energy (gel induced!) up to Fradley, knowing that this would then mark a turnaround, and we would be heading back. 10 miles was hit in 1.08 and I was thinking, sub 1.30 was definitely on.
The legs disagreed though, and the last 3 miles were a real drag as I felt I was almost going backwards, the body rebelling to a lack of mileage, and it got to the point where I was trying to think of a Monday evening training running, cantering back to the club house! The last mile or so was downhill, which was thankful, but not as much as the site of the Lichfield cathedral spires and the giant inflatable finishing post!
Waitrose kindly provided us with a cap, water and banana, etc, and it was then about a mile walk back to the start to pick up the car, with a number of similarly wobbly legged runners! Again, some excellent BVH performances and I was delighted with 1.31, better than I had expected! Will have to get some miles in the legs now though – a day on and it still hurts!