Sunday 23rd September
Draycote Water is a reservoir (similar to Rutland Water but on a much smaller scale), based just outside Rugby. There are a number of races that are held there throughout the year. On this occasion both 10 and 20 mile runs were held there, organised by The Race Organiser.
There was plenty of parking, although there was a fee of £4 to be paid (this was for all day). The race organisers had set up a small set of gazebos for number collection and goody bag/shirt collection at the finish. At the reservoir itself was a watersports centre (bit like the one at Ferry Meadows), which had toilet facilities and a café/restaurant. The toilets had been opened for us to use, but the café didn’t open till later.
The reservoir is somewhere between 4 and 5 miles it worked out to be just over 2 lap for the 10 mile and just over 4 laps for the 20 mile. There is a footpath all the way round the course either tarmac or gravel so road shoes were fine…although it did pour down with rain that morning which meant there were a number of puddles and it was a little slippy underfoot in places. A number of people had told me the course was flat, however there were a couple of steep inclines on the lap. One was just past the lap/finish point and you went up round the back of the watersports centre. The other was around the half way point and was a bit deceiving as was steeper and went on for longer than had been expected.
For both the 10 and 20 mile routes, the start was a distance from the lap/finish line. For 10 miles it was about ½ mile walk, for the 20 around 1 mile walk. This meant having to be ready in plenty of time to allow for getting to the start. Both races started at the same time and once round on your laps it became difficult to know which race or even which lap people were on. There was a complete mixture of people and abilities out there, a few walkers and of course some very fast runners. It was a chip timed course so the organisers could keep track of the laps that you had completed and whether you were doing the 10 or 20 miler course.
It managed to stop raining part way round the first lap and then brightened up considerably making the whole run a much more pleasant experience. However I did find that the first half of the course was quite open and there was a chilly wind so I needed my gloves and buff round my ears. This changed in the second half of the course which was more covered and once out of the wind it got quite warm..so off the gloves and buff came. Although the soon went back on again at the start of the next lap.
Considering it was fairly short laps, there were quite a number of marshals out on the course, with water and sugary snacks at about half way and at the lap/finish point. There was bicycle support from St Johns around the route, luckily I don’t believe they were needed.
Once over the finish line, a medal and bottle of water were handed out. With a t-shirt and goodie bag (a plastic bag with a few bits of chocolate/sweets in) to be collected at the organisers gazebo. There were no changing facilities available, so had to change in the toilets. But the café/restaurant was open now and they were serving a really good selection of; sandwiches, soup, cakes, hot dinners and hot/cold drinks and reasonable-ish prices.
I chose this race as am in marathon training and needed to get 20 miles in that weekend. Not many 20 mile races around at this time of the year, if there were I would have much preferred something that wasn’t such small laps. Considering it’s a bit of trek to get too and the fact its laps am not sure I would have done it if I weren’t training. So not one that I would repeat unless I needed the distance again. Nothing majorly wrong with the course or race organisation just a bit boring if I’m honest.
Not so good Points