Sunday 29th April 2018
I arrived in Castor on a wet, grey Sunday morning, once again questioning my decision to enter another race that denied me that much needed Sunday morning lie-in. Equipped with the bare essentials of kit - a vintage 1980’s Raleigh ‘racer’, running shoes and 3 gels - I headed into the village hall to complete registration.
With only 84 competitors, the event was small and friendly. Plenty of helpful Marshall’s to guide newbies, such as myself, towards the appropriate areas. Slightly intimidated by the serious looking machines being wheeled to the transition area, I left my bike on the rack and headed for the start.
It was a fast start to the 4 mile run. Uneventful except for the added challenge of running up, then down, Loves Hill. On my return to the village, I was directed to the transition area where I added some layers of clothing, put on my helmet, grabbed my bike and trotted back towards the road. Pedalling back up Loves Hill was tough but I knew I would be rewarded later in the course with a luxurious long down hill glide towards Helpston. Prior to the race, I had been worrying about the strict rules for overtaking other competitors. I needn’t have bothered. The cyclists were so strung out at this stage that I only saw one other competitor (as he came past me!). I loved the bike section of the race and it felt like no time at all had passed when I arrived back in Castor to transition to the final run. With legs like jelly and feet like wood, I attacked the hill again. This shorter run (2.5 miles) to Ferry Bridge and back, felt like exactly the right finish to a thoroughly enjoyable event.