Mud, mulled wine and mince pies – but no wellies necessary!
Date: Sunday 14 December 2014
Format: 10km two-lap trail run
Race website: http://www.muddywelly.com/
Full results: to download from race website, and on DB Max Race Timing
Photos: a photo gallery from Gareth Jones at Sports-alive photography
I definitely was all raced out by the end of triathlon season… but after 10 weeks of R&R and miles of longer off-road runs, the legs have been itching for something a little bit competitive. But it is the off-season and nearly Christmas, so the Muddy Welly organised by the friendly My Sporting Times crew seemed like the perfect Sunday morning outing.
Based at Wellington College in Crowthorne, it was easy to find and the race HQ was well organised. There was still frost on the ground so I warmed up by running out the first mile or so of the lap before heading back for the start. There were the usual teenagers haring off at about 2:30/km pace, but once they’d calmed down I found myself running in a group of three at the front of the race. By the time we hit the trails proper for the first time, one of the others had dropped off, and Callum Hughes was slowly but relentlessly pulling away from me.
The 5km lap had a good mix of patchy tarmac, gravelly trail, twisty bits over tree roots and between gorse bushes, some grass sections across the playing fields, and of course, a little mud.
I kept Callum in sight until after we started the second lap, ahead of all the 5km runners who’d set off at the same time – and then he turned on the afterburners. In the end, he was a clear winner in 36:30 and I ran in comfortably in 2nd place in 38:03. The course seems to have been a pretty accurate 10km, so that pace (3:48/km) is actually a PB for the distance!
It was good to catch up with quite a few familiar faces including Sean Stewart whom I’ve bumped into several times this season, including out in Canada for the world champs and at Reading Triathlon. Unfortunately he’d had to pull up with a niggling injury today.
Oli presented the top 3 with our prizes, before we collected our well-earned mince pie and mulled wine from Ceri. Thanks, guys – a top morning out.