The second race of the CC6 series took place last Sunday at Manor Farm. I was a little nervous about it as my run at parkrun on Saturday had been terrible. My shins had been in severe pain and I was worried that I had run too much this week.
Malcolm and Jill had kindly agreed to give me a lift, so I just needed to get myself to their house. It’s about 3km away, so not far. I considered cycling, but my commuter bike has M’s bike attached to it and I thought it would be a faff. After getting up early, I thought I’d have plenty of time… but I hadn’t bargained with M’s recalcitrance. I left home 10 minutes later than planned.
At 8:31, I arrived at Jill and Malcolm’s house after a pitiful jog-walk. I glanced at my Garmin, which told me that I needed 16 hours of recovery. Not a great start!
Arriving at Manor Farm
The last time I ran at Manor Farm was an RR10 in June 2013. At the time, I was desperate to lose some weight, but looking back at those photos, I was so much smaller (and younger-looking) than I am now! I couldn’t remember much about that race apart from it featuring a tough uphill wooded section towards the end of the race.
We arrived in plenty of time and had a short walk to the start of the race. I had a chat with Angela on the way to the start and waved to my favourite race photographer, Paul Hammond.
The start of the race
Angela and I started at the back of the pack. A Hampshire Cross Country League race had taken place on Saturday afternoon, so I wondered whether that would affect the turnout. I was also wondering how many marshals I would recognise as Netley Abbey, Stubbington Green and Hamwic Harriers were marshalling the race. There was a short gravel path back to the farm, where I waved to Paul before heading into the farm itself.
This was my favourite part of the race as we got to see various animals, including some huge pigs. There were also alpacas and donkeys. The staff came out of one of the buildings to cheer the runners on, which was appreciated. After that, we ran past some cows and through some glorious ‘mud’. It was lovely to see fellow RDs Rob and Kim marshalling there.
I also had a lovely chat with Mario from New Forest Runners. He’s not running as well as he usually does – I expected him to be ahead of me.
The midsection of the race
It was nice to see people out marshalling on the course as I recognised quite a few of them, including Kate and Sergio.
The midsection of the run had various twists and turns. There was a steep downhill section followed by some steps uphill where I encountered some walkers. At the top of that slope, a dog that had been in water decided to shake off its coat. I got soaked but didn’t want to stop as I knew there were runners close behind me. I couldn’t remember much of the RR10 that I ran at Manor Farm, but I did recollect a tough uphill section.
The final climb
After I got through the uphill section, there was a relatively flat bit, where I saw friends who were out marshalling. Then there was another uphill section. Sergio was halfway up the hill. He was taking photos and urged me to run, but I was getting tired and thought I was a couple of kilometres from the end. If I’d known that I was only about 500m away, I would have pushed much harder.
At the top of the hill, Paul Hammon was waiting with his camera, so I put in a bit more effort.
So how did I do?
I was 98/113 women, which is not really where I want to be. At the last CC6, I was 72/78, so relatively speaking, I performed better in this race. I’m determined to complete the whole series. The next event will be marshalled by Lordshill, so I have until 9th January to improve my fitness.