Nicola Morris reports: I came to this race expecting a challenging run, lots of hills and off road. I was even prepared for some mud given all the rain we had been having but there is mud and then there is mud and there really was lots of it!
There was only quite a small number of people starting the race and only the three of us from Bournville Harriers that I was aware of – myself, Phil and Simon. I was feeling nervous and some concern that I might be spending a lot of the race with the back marker!
The race started and I started steady as I was conscious that there was a hill quite early on. The first mile or two went well and I started to think that maybe it wasn’t going to be as challenging and hilly as I thought…..at which point I was confronted with the first muddy part of the race. My old Asics just did not cut it. I was sliding round all over the place and trudging through the mud was really hard going. The mud was followed by a hill, another section of mud and then another hill. I was only at about the 3-4 mile stage and was already exhausted. Phil came in to sight and it wasn’t long before she had caught me up and we carried on the rest of the run together.
We thought that we had got through the worst of the mud but we hadn’t and before long we slipping and sliding through it once again, sinking quite deep in to the mud in some places. We saw very few other runners and had to keep our eyes out for the direction arrows to ensure that we did not end up going completely off track and ending up lost in the middle of the Wyre Forest.
We finally got out of the mud and on to a track where we could enjoy some easier running and the fact that the sun was out and the weather was actually really good.
We were soon at the eleven mile mark water station and preparing ourselves for the last couple of miles of uphill, or so we thought. It wasn’t actually that bad and it was only as we got to the 13 mile marker and looked up to see the finish line at the top of a hill that we dug in for the final stretch. The ‘killer mile’ went through my mind and it wasn’t as long or steep as this so before I knew it we were at the top and me and Phil ran through the finish line shoulder to shoulder. No PB but just very pleased to get round and congratulations to Phil who later found out that she had won her age category.
A challenging run but would definitely consider doing it again in less muddy conditions.