I arrived early as usual ready for the 10am start. There was plenty of parking at the school opposite the start. Always a positive for me when you can park close by. I collected my race number timing chip and T shirt and the small size was actually ‘Small’. Another bonus to this race.
I warmed up for about 10 minutes then headed for the toilets (no queuing) before heading to the start.
A prompt start at 10am round the field first then headed out on to the road for the first hill. Not to bad I thought. Then the nightmare began. As we turned a corner and headed up another hill a steady incline that seemed to go on forever. Finally a short sharp down, then it just became one hill after another. Despite this I was feeling strong and others were walking. I was able to take on the hills and continue running, slowly overtaking lots of runners. I heard a lot of swearing from the guy in front every time we we turned and there was yet another hill. Which made me chuckle to myself.
The last mile my legs had gone, but I thought it’s a down hill back to the start. Unfortunately I got that wrong as they took us back another way which meant the last mile was uphill and it was a real fight to run the last climb back to the finish line, but I was determined to give it all I had. I finished first in age category and 8th lady in a time of 49:18. Nowhere near my PB, but it was a tough course in beautiful countryside. I would definitely do it again and I think my woodland 5 runs have made me stronger and helped me achieve the time I did.