Well I was up bright and early (due to neighbours mowing their lawn at 7.30am with a strimmer. Seriously.) and ready for the race. Even though I had done this race before I still had pre-race nerves! Silly. Anyway I got everything ready with plently of time.
My list is:
Mp3 player charged
Water left in fridge over night
Safety pins on race number
Timer chip on laces
Tissues in pocket
The race starts in the village of Wheathampstead, and there were car parks available only a short walk from the start. We had to walk through a field full of BBQ’s, bouncy castles etc (plus loads of sweaty children with their medals from the 2k race going back the other way). It has a good family atmosphere. Last year when I did this race it was my first “proper” race (e.g. a chip timer one, men competing, people with running club vests etc) but it was pouring with rain, and I struggled as that was the furthest I had ever run.
This year was the total opposite; waiting at the start there was no shade, so I was hot before we even started. The race is mostly uphill (I had forgotten quite how much uphill it actually was), and a lot of it was exposed as it was through fields. Some of it was in the shade, and occasionally there was a breeze. I started off hoping for a time of 60 minutes, but after half way I was a little behind (34 minutes) and it was so hot that I decided to finish without getting heatstroke (hopefully). There was no clock on the finish line, but I had managed to press go on my Nike+ as I went over the starting mat, and it said 63 minutes, so I was pretty pleased with that! Will have to see what the official chip time was, but I am happy with that as a time.
Once you finish there was a welcome banana ( I always love a banana after a race) and more bottles of water. The water in my hand bottle had got really warm, so I tipped it over myself and drank the cold bottled water.
After a little wander around the fields we headed home, and am now having lunch (wholemeal tortilla spread with light cream cheese, red pesto and sprinkled with sundried tomatoes= yum) after a nice cool shower. Phew.