Suz West reports: Second race of a four month mid week series bought myself and a small team of teal to Arrow Valley Country Park for a 12k multi terrain run.The previous day and during race day had seen plenty of rain,so it was time to try out my new trail trainers.Not sure this was a sensible idea,after a rekkie of part of the course It was definatley sensible to keep these on and leave my flats in the car.
Standing on the start line which was not really a start line just alot of runners assembled in there own club groups,we listened to the talk which had alot of mention of st johns first aiders and medical assistance,followed by instructions to keep running straight if you get lost and you will eventually see a Marshall or an arrow!!After this information a proper start gun went off which was enough to warrant the mention several times of medical people.
With that we were off one lap of a field to start with to break us up before we go into the woods,I thought this was an excellent idea after being stuck behind runners in the previous race in the series.Into the woods and through some wooded trails before a muddy climb up and by now it was raining making this section quite dark!!Out through this section over a path and then back into more woods and then out and up onto a grassy hill or if you have ever done leamington xc something that may make you think of the mound.What goes up must come down and im sure i may have looked slightly over cautious definatley slowing down at this point,but i was thinking better slow down rather than fall or roll down.
So then back out onto tarmac which normally I would relish but realising these new trail trainers were hard on tarmac I decided to try and run on the grass on the side.I managed to gain a bit of speed and was encouraged by a cobra lady too go get the group ahead so I did,caught up in this little group was myself another two female runners and an older guy,not sure which clubs they were with.We went back into the woods onto a woodchipped trail were i found myself relaxing and left the girls behind so now there was me and the guy after slowing once more to go down some steps I managed too pass him.
Back out into another crossing before being guided back towards the field at this point I realised my number had come off,panicking I may get disqualified and desperately trying to rember my number with too numbers in my head one definatley this race and the other from a few days earlier when i had run two castles,this must have distracted me because before I knew it I was back at the start and ready for lap two.However a marshall did shout I hope you know your number and it suddenly came too me.
So now my focus was back on my run,by now I was on my own know one behind or infront of me slightly worried I may get lost as I have done before,I decided to speed up too see someone in front sure enough it wasnt long before I caught a glimpse of a yellow club runner.I kept him in sight as much as possible.Through another woody srtetch and over the path I was greeted with well done Suz your doing well,it was one of reddtich club runners who were holding this race he was marshalling and knows me from parkrun,with this it pushed me on.I felt like I was working hard probably not my fastest but I was enjoying this race maybe because Im fairly new too this multi terrain running and it was definatley challenging.So last part of the run,but first there was still time for a marshall to say well done young lady,thinking that was a nice thing to say I carried on my run around the country park.Following the tape I now was running along a lovley lake I knew I was coming too the end so speeded my pace up as it was now flat not too muddy but not tarmac so ideal for my new trail trainers.Running back into the field and cheered on by the teal team who had already finished I sprinted kind of to the end.
The facilities at Arrow Valley Park were great with ample parking and a cafe and toilets on site.I know they do Parkrun here and as a cannon hill regular I may go on holiday one sat morning too redditch.
The results have not yet been made available im sure the fact that most runners lost there numbers may have slowed this down.My watch time was 59.54