Mark Kencroft writes: My second time running this ever popular multi terrain 10k event in Chesham. I met Martin Daoud beforehand and we did a quick check on the finish area pointing out the many rabbit holes on the finish approach. I was in two minds whether to wear my running trainers and to take a chance without trail shoes. In the end I opted for the trails trainers -they are heavy compared to my road shoes, but I wasn’t sure what the whole course would be like.
We met up with Philip and Louise at race HQ and realised then we had only just three runners taking part in this race. Martin & I went out to warm up along the long flat path at the top of the park.
We had a great start and the field of runners spread out quickly as we made our first exit out down from the first steep hill. The organisers had spray marked the tree roots sticking out everywhere which helped a lot for the runners. The mud was not really an issue on this usually tricky part of the course.
The next part was out onto the quiet country road but all uphill and this was hard going. After this it was onto the trail tracks, country paths and a chance to catch our breath but not for long as we had another hill to manage which I had totally forgotten about! Marshals were great throughout the race giving us much needed support, though one did say to me “Good Jogging “ – I thought I was running flat out!
I was glad to get up the final hill back into the park and greeted by much needed support from Philip Prince, after that point all downhill to the finish line which I was glad to see.
We all finished the race with no problems, Martin ran this for his first time and said he enjoyed it. Really nice event on this testing course, highly recommended.
Louise Prince adds: Not got that much to add to Mark’s report. One thing Mark failed to mention was that he came 9th overall! Martin was 34th, and I was first woman home for ESM. Okay, so I was also the last woman home for ESM, but who’s counting! Oh, and it’s also longer than 10K…
Whilst Mark and Martin went for a more traditional warm-up I opted to sit on a bench and soak up some sunshine before the race. This is one of my favourite races, but it’s never going to be one I chase a PB in – the camber of the field after the first uphill section, the leaves making the downhill treacherous, the lung-busting hills on the rest of the course all conspire against PBs. Far better to take it easy and admire the scenery… And there is plenty of beautiful scenery in this race to admire. And red kites soaring… And hills. Lots of hills. Having done this one a couple of times before, I knew what to expect, and knew which hills I’d attempt and which ones I’d just opt to walk (pretty much any that I couldn’t see the top of), saving the energy for a downhill chase at the end.
The race didn’t seem so tough this year, weather and conditions made for a relatively easy run. And support along the way was good – I’d echo what Mark said about the marshals, very supportive, with plenty of “looking strong” comments – I knew they were lying, but it’s nice to hear anyway!
Full results are available on runbritain.