Popping my trail race cherry

Last weekend I ran my first proper trail race. Took me a while to find the courage to enter, mainly because I thought I would either get lost or encounter cows (see previous posts… there’s a theme). I entered with a friend… and then it got postponed due to snow.

The rescheduled date was announced – and my friend dropped out as it clashed with another race she had entered. So I was on my own.

I was pretty nervous the night before. It wasn’t a particularly long distance (15k) but I still planned my kit, gels and water meticulously and laid them all out ready for the next morning (forgot to take one of those kit photos that are popular among us runners… must do one next time).

And on the day I was still anxious about cows and getting lost. I got there early (probably too early!) registered and talked to some of the volunteers organising the event. A couple of members of my running club turned up and so with all the chatting and catching up I was slightly less nervous when we finally set off.

And the race itself? I loved it. It was a beautiful sunny day, but not too warm. The route took in fields, footpaths and tracks with a few small inclines and the runners taking part were really supportive. For parts of it I didn’t see another runner, but the route was well sign-posted and so no getting lost. And I didn’t see a single cow. A few horses with riders, the odd dog and a field that was apparently full of nesting ground birds, but no cows, bullocks or calves.

Didn’t check my pace on my watch, just ran by feel. Tackled a range of terrains, and about 12 stiles. And was really pleased when I placed ninth female (admittedly there were only 26 of us) and 29th overall. Am slightly in love with trail racing and am already looking at more races this year…

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