NoblePro MK5k PB Special – 27 September
A proper race, with fellow runners in short shorts and vest with numbers on! Superbly organised, and hopefully I’ll be able to pop down again for the next one.
First time for a sub-18, 8 years in the making.
Chiltern 50 – 26 September
It was a 4am start on Saturday to get down to Henley for a 6.45 race start of my first ever UltraMarathon – 50.2km in the Chiltern Hills. There had been camping planned for the night before the race, but that was cancelled due to covid restrictions. The race went ahead though, with individual starts, sections requiring masks and general social distancing rules. I managed to get to the front of the queue, so was first off the line. Starting a race at 6.45 seemed early, but the weather was brilliant and it led to perfect conditions.
The first sections were generally uphill tracks, which suits my running quite well. As such, I only really saw 2 other runners in the early stages – one of whom dropped off after a couple of k, and the other stayed about 30 seconds ahead for pretty much the whole first half of the race. After the early climbs, it was back down the hills to Henley, and then along the Thames path, back to the start and the 25k checkpoint, where we were clapped in by many of the walkers and joggers just starting out. He took a few seconds there to grab something, whereas I shot straight through, so we were pretty much running together for the next section, over the hills to Marlow.
Unfortunately, after the 3rd checkpoint, my lack of experience told, and I ended up having to walk a few km, before slowly trotting home the last 8 or so. That did mean I finally saw another runner, when I was passed by the eventual winner (who had started 22 minutes behind). Still, I just about managed to bring it home in 3rd place (both on the road and in reality), my first ever running podium, before enjoying a complementary hot meal of spaghetti and meatballs at the finish.
All-in-all, a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and I will definitely be looking to take part in more of their events in the future. The only downside is that my legs do still hurt now, 3 days later.
Double Gloucester 5 Miles – 20 September
King of the Hill competition
It’s good to be back.
Six of us headed down to Gloucester for the 2nd running of the Double Gloucester 5 mile race. This race is fast becoming iconic as you get to run up the famous cheese rolling hill – twice. To start with the climb from the registration was hard enough and took its toll on one of our supporters as she struggled on the hills.
At the start we were shepherded to a start group, no hanging around we were off, positions soon settled on the clamber up the first hill, Matt making it look easy as he quickly disappeared. Once you summited, a brief turn around for the stunning view before the course led you back down to the bottom of the hill again. This was different and then the relentless unforgiving climbs and descents meant there was no respite. At least with start groups we were constantly chasing and passing other runners on the course. Matt never came back into view and I was constantly aware that the guys behind me were more than capable of catching me. As I approached the hill for the last climb the screams of support from our cheerleading squads reminded me what it was like to be in a race. Back up the hill on all fours again. This was not so easy the 2nd time around and the exertion meant the legs and lungs were burning. It was good to summit and collapse over the line and just lie there desperate to breathe in oxygen again. I was not the only one.
By the time I recovered I got back to the top in time to cheer/roar mark up the last climb closely followed by Sean and Tim. These 3 were the same as me, lying on their backs, hoovering the oxygen in disbelief at the elevation we had just conquered (1027ft). Chris got the full support as he approached the climb for the last time, all of us encouraging him, one step at a time. A great event, well organised given current circumstances, and fast becoming an iconic race on the calender. Its soo good to be back – Spencer
Oh yessss, it is good to be back.
It’s not the reservoir dogs, it’s not the magnificent 7 (obviously only 6 allowed), it’s Northbrook’s finest model we could find.
Yes today we raced a real race, against real people, on one of the most spectacular courses ever. This was the double Gloucester 5 mile with 1027 ft climb. Twice up the famous cheese rolling Coopers Hill. We flew the colours high, Matt leading us home in a jaw dropping time of 43 mins something. Amazingly tough course, in great socially-distanced company – Chris