Suz West reports on 20 mile race in Cheshire

It was Sunday morning and the weather reports had promised a windy, wet and cold day the start of autumn. Three of us myself Nicola Morris and Helen Lawrence headed North prepared for a run in these conditions.
We arrived in plenty of time and bumped into Keith peace who also had made the journey up. The facilities were in a school but also next door to a leisure centre. Parking was easy and we headed to the school hall were there was no official baggage but I was told its pretty unlikely to get stolen!!So I left my bag there.
The start line was just outside the school gate so after a little warm up as it was getting cold we assembled at the start. The marshals were strict about no headphones in all correspondence and at the start, luckily I never run with headphones so it didn’t make any difference to me.
After this we were off undecided at the start if I should race or take it easy and practice my marathon pace it wasn’t long before I got carried away and went off far too fast. We ran out into a main road then started winding through some little villages it was very scenic and too start with I was running with some of the south Cheshire harriers, the race organisers so when a marshal shouted to them no short cuts to avoid the hills I knew I may be in for a hilly run. At around 5 miles and in a nice little village I found myself running with two runners from tretcham(not sure that’s right spelling) I stayed with them and for a few miles we kept together, but at mile 8 ish the one lad left the other waving buy to him and shouting buy too me I discovered he had been pacing him. We ran a sharp left and over a bridge with a stream under, very nice. The one lad was still with me but was struggling to stay with me so I went on ahead. Now through the country lanes we were gradually going up and at mile nine there was south Cheshire’s version of the killer mile!!! I knew I was going to slow here but there was no way I was walking and at the top I was quite proud of the fact I didn’t walk and may have got to the top even if it was slow.Carrying on winding through country lanes I ran past farms and a few fields of cows,this run was really like the long runs I do around the peacock.The weather actually started too get hot at one point and marshalls were situated with water regularly although it was cups which I still have not mastered running and drinking out of theses.At around mile 13 still running through lanes it started too seem a bit lonely not fast enough too keep up with the front runners but faster than the runners behind.I knew I would soon be back out onto the final straight as it was a one lap loop out and back.A few more windey and undulating bits and around mile 15 I started to recognise we had run past this village.5 miles to go and happy too know I was on my way back deciding too keep the pace I was at rather than race back after all this was training for a marathon for me and getting my marathon pace race seemed more important at this point than a 20 mile pb.At 18 miles I came across the most enthusatic marshall I have ever encountered,the marshalls the previous station had mars bars and jelly babies on offer which I happily took.Two miles left and before I knew it I was back running into the field too finish my time was 2.38.08 not a pb but happy with that and confident I now know how to pace myself properly too get the marathon time I want in October.
The goody bag was a t-shirt and gingerbread man(unfortunately for me,im allergic to ginger)some oats and a drink. There was also massage available and cakes for a donation.
Overall an extremely well organised event and south Cheshire harriers give 100 enthusiasium.I would definitely recommend this race.

One Reply to “Suz West reports on 20 mile race in Cheshire”

  1. Thankyou for your Race Report Suz. Tough running conditions underfoot. Those who completed the 20 miles should feel confident that they will successfully complete a marathon in the near future.Perhaps a good race/event to enhance ones strength and stamina,but not necessarily ones leg speed.Clearly,Autumn appears to be on the way eg. `wet,windy and cold` conditions forcast.
    Congratulations to all who successfully completed the 20 mile race in Cheshire.