Falls, wasps, sun and beer

The Round Sheffield Run is unlike anything I’ve ever ran before – 11 stages totalling 20 kilometres taking you through parks and woodland in and around Sheffield. Inclines so steep in places that you are walking up giant steps cut into the trails and then praying you don’t trip as you hurtle through woods avoiding roots and rocks on your descent.

At the end of each stage you need to get to the next one – some a few steps away, others a good ten minutes’ walk – and check in and check out using a dongle-thing. In total we covered about 24 kilometres in over three hours – about a third of this was the time between the stages.

I took part with ten other members of my running club, travelling up the night before and staying in a hotel before heading down to the start point early-ish Sunday morning. (It was about 8am – for some people that’s an unknown on a Sunday morning, for a mum with young children, it’s a lie-in).

As a recent convert to trail racing, it was a great course. Tough in parts thanks to the hills and terrain, but you can’t beat running through woods on a sunny day. The trees kept the temperature down and I just felt like a kid again.

I did fall. Apparently it was quite spectacular to watch. I ‘flew sort of sideways and outwards at the same time’ (according to my friend who I was running with). There was mud, blood and the bruising and swelling was something to see when it came out. But I carried on (I am nothing if not brave). I wasn’t the only one to trip and there were plenty of grazes and bruises on display at the race village at the end.

The wasp came at the end. It wanted my post-race free pint; I didn’t want it to have it. I kept the pint but got stung in the process. I had never been stung before and it hurts. It also stung me on the opposite side of my body to the bruises etc – sleeping that night was pretty uncomfortable.

When we finally got home later that afternoon after a couple of hours in the car, we were covered in mud, a bit smelly and slightly sun burnt. We were also pretty elated and already talking about signing up for next year.

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