A few weeks ago I spotted a trail race on SI Entries and asked my beautiful wife is she fancied it. Helen doesn’t particularly like running, unless it’s off-road, even though she is much better than she realises.
£12 entry fee with all of the money going towards the Greystoke Cummunity Pool, plus the race would be in the grounds of Greystoke Estate, which isn’t usually open to the public. What’s not to like. Also it was Helen’s birthday the day before, double bonus.
As is my way we set off far too early, even though I had already taken Nelly, our silly pointer to the park. Dogs were not allowed on the estate for the race. She knows running gear though, so she wasn’t happy about being left at home. It rained most of the way there, although there was a bright rainbow near to the village of Greystoke.
We registered and put our numbers on, and then waited in the car, as we were far too early. I like being early. The start was a few minutes walk from the race HQ, and we almost missed the start as there was a huge queue for the toilets. We probably should have set off a bit earlier.
There was a bit of confusion at the start as we couldn’t remember if Greystoke was the home of Tarzan or He-Man. Tarzan was actually John Clayton II, Viscount Greystoke, and Castle Grayskull was the source of He-Mans powers.
With my recent injury and having done parkrun the day before I was happy to start near the back and take it nice and easy, especially as the route went up hill almost constantly for 4km. It was also very muddy, but at least it wasn’t raining. At the top end of the estate we turned around and headed back on a different farm track. I was overtaken by a few people here as running downhill on a rocky path isn’t my forte.
There was also an official photographer on this section, and amazingly both me and Helen looked quite good.
Helen was absolutely loving it.
Every single gate and turn was marshalled, with flags in between, with all of them giving their time for free to raise money for their local pool. Brilliant. Near to the end and one marshall was warning runners that the next field was a little wet. That was an understatement, it was a paddy field. We splashed through it, up a small rise, through a farm and a sprint down to the finish line.
Times and finishing positions are not really important. What is important is that we had a great little run, feeling tired but happy, along with nearly 200 other runners. Additionally, within minutes of finishing it started to rain again. Definitely a race to look out for next year.