A packed starting line

After the flat, open spaces at the previous RR10 (Wide Lane) this race was a different kettle of fish. Runners, some tents and flags were packed onto Whiteshute Ridge (Badger Farm, Winchester) for the penultimate RR10 of the season. It seemed more like a budget Glastonbury than a trail race, with not enough room to swing a cat.

It was a good turnout for Wessex with runners and volunteers (David H – on photography duty, Derek and Peter). I was able to walk from my house to the start line, which is always a pleasure. We also had a new runner and member competing, Katherine Clyde (my wife) has gotten back into running and was pleased to receive her Wessex vest at the start.

The course really was tight and narrow, with no flat section to speak of. At the start, runners seemed to extend back for about 100 meters, picking a good starting spot and passing when the opportunity arose was key.

Downhill to start for a few hundred meters and then back up the ridge at a steady incline, we then crossed over the tree line and into a very tight, undulating, narrow section with plenty of tree roots to trip on. There really was no room to manoeuvre and for the next kilometre I was unable to overtake (or be overtaken), it was constantly up and down with little respite. Back across the tree line with a sharp right turn to repeat the first circuit, then a left turn to an uphill finish after the second lap.

It was a tough race, perhaps not ideal for a first outing for Katherine and for David S, recovering from Covid. All finished however – I think with Phil initially missing the finish tunnel and having to loop back!

Finishing order Men’s individual – Phil (86), myself (140), David S (146) and Richard (176). Ladies individual – Katie (104).

Next (and final) race of this year’s RR10 is at IBM Hursley on Wednesday 17th August, hoping for a good turnout.