This was a race nestled right in the middle of marathon training which meant that there had been no opportunity to taper. Michael Littlewood, my travel companion for the day was 80 miles deep into a 100 mile week and I wasn’t too far behind.
That said, I felt pretty good, and was ready to race. It was nice to lace the racing flats up following a long stretch of fairly intense training.
The course is a two loop affair, through the theme park and the zoo and around the golf course. Approximately 2 miles of the 6 were through muddy fields, the rest was tarmac – most of it was pretty flat.
The start was tentative as we all waited for the eventual winner, Tristan Learoyd, to head up the field and lead us all out towards the golf course. By 1km there was a group of 3/4 runners just off the lead and the pace was brisk before we hit the mud, which slowed us all up.
By half way I knew I had a good chance of placing in the top 3 so the exercise was more to do with ‘racing’ those around me than PB chasing. The grass sections were too muddy for the course to translate into an overall personal best so I didn’t even bother looking at my watch, I just ran to feel, trying to keep up with those around me.
As we left the golf course for the second time I was in second place, closely followed by James Fahey from North York Moors AC who unfortunately (for him) slipped just as we hit the tarmac again. After checking he was ok, I took advantage of this and put in a little surge, creating a gap of about about 100m between us, which I was able to stretch out over the last mile.
I’d recommend the race; it’s not on the doorstep but could be combined with a family day out. The course is interesting and there’s a chance to win a family pass for the park.