||Pewsey Vale 12k trail race 25-4-10
Not a big race. The club used to put on a road 10k but this is the first year of an alternative off road event. East out of the village of Collingbourne Ducis to a large wood, a big circuit of the wood and back to the village.
I had been forewarned about the first hill after just a mile and I took the second short sharp one in my stride but when we turned a sharp corner at about halfway and found a third one I had nothing left and it was as much as I could do to keep from walking. My carefully worked out plan of overtaking the guy in front went out of the window and what had been a nice race became a grim effort of survival. Over the top of the hill and a long, fast gradual decent back to the road and my prospects were improving but I'd left myself too much to do and not enough left in the legs to do it with and I had to be content with 7th at the finish.
Like a lot of the Ridgeway, the surface was dry, rutted chalk. Mary tells me that the woods were beautiful and carpeted with Bluebells but at the speed I was trying to run at all of my attention went on finding a flat place to put my next footfall. It could have been carpeted with chocolate and I wouldn't have known it.
Finishing within 2 minutes of the leaders flatters me and isn't accurate. Back on the road within a mile of the finish I came over the brow of (yet another) hill to see the two leaders in the distance coming back towards me having missed a turn onto a track. Fortunately they had been caught by the photographer driving to the turn in his car and prevented from running off towards Salisbury. It was the photographer who directed the rest of us down the track back towards the village. That missing marshal was the only hitch in otherwise good organisation. Free tee shirt and Mars bar and a large range of yummy-looking cakes to go with the tea back at the village hall rounded off a nice morning's work.