It was in the middle of nowhere in deepest rural Sussex, and we got lost a couple of times on the way there, arriving after about an hour in the car. We drove into the middle of a field on a farm, and there didn't seem to be many people about. It had been advertised as a series of races beginning at 4pm, but in fact on the day, there were just 2 races - one for children and the main race - and they didn't start until 5.45pm.
So there was plenty of time to hang around and get chilly, and the kids had a great time playing with a dog they met (Sidney). The clouds crept over the sun, and it started to get quite windy, so it was a relief when it was time to line up for the kids' race.
For a while we thought Robbie and Emma might be the only runners, but a few more children turned up, and there were 8 altogether I think. It was 0.5 miles, and I ran with Emma. She was the youngest there, and we were last, just behind Robbie. The boys at the front were a few years older than my two, and I thought they did well to keep going the whole way. Emma said she was tired after about 30 seconds, but she didn't give up, and they both got their medals!
Robbie said afterwards that he didn't enjoy it at all though, and I think he found it hard-going.
I had about a minute to catch my breath, and then it was time for my race. There were 33 of us at the start line, and there semed to be quite a few club runners, so I wondered (as I often do) about the possibility of being last.
|Crossing the start line|
|The second hill we climbed|
The hills really took it out of me, and the bumpy fields were hard work. After the 4 mile point, there was a stretch of very long grass, and I was so tired then that I walked again. I wasn't looking for a fast time, and I knew there was no-one behind me who could catch me. Finally I turned into the start / finish area, where a rockabilly band was playing and a bar and barbeque were waiting for me. Robbie and Emma crossed the line with me and I plodded in to get my medal.
The kids were dancing to the music and Pete was enjoying the beer, so we stayed a bit longer, and soon the race director took the microphone to announce the winners. I couldn't believe it when he called out my name as 3rd woman! I won a bottle of wine! This was a historic moment as I have never won anything or got such a good position in a race before!
It felt really good. I was 18 / 33 runners in total, 3 / 14 women, and 2nd in my age category. According to my Garmin, the distance was 4.6 miles, and my time was 41m55s. As I was taking in the excitement of getting a prize, they also gave out prizes for the children's race. Despite finishing last, Emma was the first girl! I hadn't noticed that there were no other girl runners! She went up to receive a bag of Minstrels, and was a very happy runner!
How odd that such an uncompetitive race, which I really only did for fun and had no goals for, should turn out to be a prize winner. It was a great afternoon, and I hope they won't be the last prizes for me or Emma!