I made my way to March on my own, the usual crew had deserted me, but never mind, it was a glorious day to be out running with Team WJ and as I parked up, just one question – trail shoes or road shoes?
From the car park the venue is about a ten minute walk. It consists of a clubhouse and a large field and is flanked on one side by a community that is rumoured to be home to some of the country’s most notorious criminals and on the other side by HMP Whitemoor (I’m joking! March is a lovely place). Inside the clubhouse was the usual set up, room to get changed, refreshments for sale and a queue at the ladies loo.
A year ago for this race I had chosen trail shoes, it was a bad choice, long sections of limestone path, roads and concrete. I wasn’t going to be fooled this year, road shoes for me. I was in the minority though. Andy Hall was telling me of one year when mud had covered the pathways, he was in no doubt, trails. And the debate started.
The route was the same as last year, but the conditions were totally different. Andy was right, the mud had slipped across the paths but if you stuck to the high point (down the middle) it generally wasn’t too bad. Only in a few places did I start to slip and slide, but at this point I was wishing I’d chosen the trails. Then once we did that loop it was out onto the road and the concrete/tarmac back roads and farm track, these areas were mainly mud free and I was back to feeling happy about my road shoes again. Worryingly about here we ran past a sign outside a house that read ‘Dog loose – Stay in your car and sound your horn’. And there was us running past with most of our flesh showing, must have looked like a sushi bar to Cujo. From there onto the grass bank which didn’t seem as tricky or as sapping as last year. The grass was quite long and the ground was soft in places but I think the wind was kinder -returning along the mud covered limestone path, little bit more slipping and down the road to the finish (some excellent finish line photos).
Back at the clubhouse and the great shoe debate continued, some were happy with their choice, others not so. The general consensus is that it would have been handy if we could have changed shoes half way round. Either way we got back in one piece and not too dirty unlike the poor junior runner who took a nosedive and was covered, bless him.
In total 36 Werrington Joggers took part, we finished 9th on the day and are still 7th overall. The scoring runners were Jeff Lucas, Graham Edwards, Malc Jacklin, Ellie Swire, Stuart Crosby, Phil Hamlyn, Jeremy Green, Richard Moisey, Sadie Boor and Ann Wood. But as always well done to everyone who took part.
So there it is, I risked further injury to bring you this report (honestly Jane, I could go no faster), next race is on the 2nd February and is certainly the one I look forward to the most, Bourne. Let us pray for rain.