The website describes the race as:
The course will be run from the Victory Hall in Hamstreet and then the 10k will take in two circuits of Hamstreet Woods with the 5k completing one circuit. The off road course is very pretty, although including some challenging features, the race will suit experienced runners and those new to running or looking to enter their first 10K or 5k.
SOME challenging features.
Let’s try the hardest 10k I’ve ever run. Oh and 1km in, the clouds went away and the blazing hot sunshine came out. When the race was over, it got cloudy again and started to rain.
Actually, the race was really enjoyable. It was very pretty and I had lots of fun running and chatting with the wonderful Cassie. We adopted the approach of an ultra runner by walking the uphill bits (of which there were plenty) and running the rest. For every up, there must also eventually be a down, but the uneven terrain meant that with our combined track record of clumsiness, we couldn’t really take advantage of this as much as we would have liked.
Nevertheless, we were having a great time and had actually started to speed up when I took a nasty tumble just before 7k. It was inevitable that one of us was going to fall and this time, it was me. Grazed knees, a bruised arm and a bit of wobbliness, so at least I had batttle wounds to show for it. A few minutes sitting on the floor recovering and then we were on our way. This did give the last place finisher an opportunity to zip by us, leaving us in last place.
Needless to say, this mile and the following one were rather slow as we took it easy with plenty of walking. We picked it up for the last mile and when we got back on the tarmac for the last few hundred metres taking us to the playing fields, we suddenly started running at whippet speeds. Nothing like hilly and bumpy trails to make you run fast on the flat!
The race wasn’t chip timed, so our official finishing time was 1:17:38, but by my watch, it was 1:17:09. Had it not been for the fall, we would have been a good few minutes quicker and achieved a decent negative split, but never mind. We had fun and I learned the following things:
- Cassie IS good on hills, despite what she claims
- Free cake at the end of a race is a VERY GOOD THING
- Falling over as an adult makes you dizzy and wobbly
- Either everyone in Hamstreet is really fast or everyone knows how tough the race is and doesn’t bother
- I don’t need to carry water with me. I ran without my comfort blanket for the first time and it was FINE.
If you’re looking for a tough 10k in Kent, this is one to try. Take some trail shoes, watch your footing and have fun. Well organised and fantastic marshals. And did I mention the free cake at the end?! And in my case it was medicinal. Hooray!
And that’s one more race checked off my 30 races by 30. What’s next?