Lesley Pymm reports: The Round Sheffield Run was something I had wanted to do for a while. A friend from Kings Heath RC had done it and told me how great it was. I kept missing the entries and then a couple of years ago I was on their waiting list and got a message to say there was a place. Unfortunately I was already booked into something else, but it did mean I was on their mailing list. I then had a mesage to say they were going to try a winter edition so I booked in – I mean a long run in January,what could possibly go wrong?
The concept of the RSR is a bit different to other events. It is run in timed stages, with recovery time in between. Many people run with friends and use the recovery time as a chance to re-group.
We drove up there on the Friday afternoon and all went well until we going through Bakewell, that is when the snow started. It was getting pretty deep, but as we got closer to Sheffield it was more like freezing rain. We booked into our Airbnb which was very close to Endcliffe Park, the start of the event and also the location for parkrun in the morning. I went to collect my number and to explore a bit, then in the evening Mike and I both walked down towards the park. It was treacherous, the ground was a sheet of ice. I was a bit worried about whether or not parkrun would go ahead in the morning.
parkrun did go ahead and it was great. I took it very steady and ran with Mike, although to be fair he was ahead of me for some of the time as I walked the icy bits! I wasn’t taking any chances with the RSR the next day.
Sunday morning dawned and it was still very cold, but nothing too awful to worry about. It is a staggered start with the elite going off first. I had chosen to start between 9.00 – 9.15, so that there would be plenty starting after me and I wouldn’t be the last to finish, even if I had the slowest time. I was so pleased to get going, I was absolutely freezing hanging around at the start. It was good to know that Mike had somewhere warm to go to rather than haninging around the park.
We ran though Endcliffe Park, which I was familiar with from parkrun and then had the first road crossing. We were using ‘dibbers’ so were able to stop the clock when we crossed the road. The next park was lovely, we ran alongside an old watermill. The first ‘recovery’ was at about 2.8Km and people took advantage of the toilets there! We then went onto the hilliest and most exposed bit, and this was where there was still quite a lot of ice, so I took it carefully and walked – I’m not into heroics these days!
The next recovery was a longer one as there was a feed station. I was getting into this – dibbing at the start of the recovery and then again at the end. There were signs up saying how long you had for the recovery – but what I couldn’t get my head round was how far I to go in that time. Most of the time it was fine, but there was one where we came out of a park and along a road, which we had to cross, and then turned left onto another road. I could see this thread of people making their was up the hill to the side of me, but it was only as I got closer that I realised that they were not yet being timed on a running segment. There were a lot of steps and it would have been dangerous to have people trying to overtake on that section, so we all walked.
Then when we did start running again, it was a very narrow path and I had to keep stopping to let other, faster runners get past. There were some brilliant views and I was enjoying it.
I was getting a bit anxious as I had given Mike an ETA and knew that I was way off. I had not taken a phone with me so all I could do was move as quickly as I could and not take advantage of the recoveries..
Eventually I started to realise that I knew vaguely where I was and that I was approaching the end. I was very pleased to finish. I had clocked up just under 15 miles for the whole thing. Mike was there at the end and was not worried that I had taken an hour longer than anticipated.
I searched through the photos afterwards and couldn’t find any of me running – but there was a great one of him with a pint of beer! This was a very different, low-key and friendly event. I would certainly reccommend it to others.