Now that the long “hot” days of summer are firmly behind us.. I thought it a good opportunity to catch up on some race reports I’ve had the pleasure of taking part in or simply watching as a spectator.
This was the first year I’ve done this race – mainly because it has always seemed to clash with something else on the calendar. However this year I’d actually been organised enough to enter on time – it does fill up quickly and online registration is the only way to enter.
So it was on what was actually a hot and sunny day a group of Buckley Runners made there way over to the small village of Wincle in the Peak District. Before we knew it we were parked up in a field and readily applying sun cream (well I was) in preparation.
The 284 runners congregated in the field by a lively village fete just as the sun reached its zenith. I personally was carrying water – whilst only around 5 miles and a “trail” race – that was certainly tough enough for me to require something on the way round!
Somehow as the race started I was worrying close to the top quarter of the field but since it was a nice level run through some fields I wasn’t too concerned. Before long however the first of the hills appeared and the race slowed down much to my relief.
What followed was a mixture of open meadows, wooded bridleways, country lanes over very undulating terrain until the river crossing – always a challenge for legs tired from a descent. I’m fairly confident no-one actually fell in .. but such was the warmth of the day it must have been very tempting.
It was about that time I was really needing my water bottle. Unfortunately Justin had finished all his water on the warm-up and in a fit of generosity I’d given him mine. So there was nothing do to but plod on in the heat hoping for the end to come before I cramped up.
Fortunately the race then began to follow a river valley; heavily wooded; allowing some respite from the sun. Unfortunately this was then followed by a long climb to the highest part of the course. This gradual climb was initially shaded too before the woods thinned as the summit approached. I’m not a climber and so just grimly plodded up the hill which seemed to take an age.
All that then remained was a long downhill to the finish. This was also a good mixture of surfaces and gradients allowing me a little opportunity to pass someone (always a good feeling!). Finally a grassy run-in to the applause of an enthusiastic crowd and it was all done. Immediately after the finish line the organisers had arranged for a river to be present and everyone made good use of it to cool off.
Whilst only 5 miles of running it was thoroughly enjoyable and well recommended for those that enjoy off-road running, or for those that wish to try it.
Photos Link: http://www.racephotos.org.uk/WincleTrout2016/wincletrout2016_1.htm