Blue Runnings

Race Reviews, GPX files and more from North-East England

Bottoms Up Cup – Washington

on 31 May 2015

washington

This was the first race organised by the newly reformed Washington Running Club – who disbanded in the early 1990’s. They’ve been trotting round Washington since September last year and now wanted to take the next step and get some training courses for some of their members. How does a running club fundraise? They organise a run and get all the local runners to pour money into their coiffers 😉 Much like the George Ogle run I did this week, this was also a memorial event – for Stephen Bottoms of the original Washington Running Club, and could run a half marathon in an insane 80 minutes :O This is mindboggling for someone who would be over the moon with 150 minutes!

£5 entry for UA affiliated members and helping another club get further off the ground? What’s not to go for? I can squeeze another race into May…which had a grand total of 1 weekend out of the 5 without at least one race event! I’d posted on the Bounders facebook page that morning asking if anyone else was going – knowing many people were at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival for the weekend and kicking butt doing half and full marathons today while I was doing my measley 3 miles! 4 takers including myself – 2 guys doing photography (I think on behalf of the Trail Outlaws who were also helping with the run organisation?!) and one other runner – a dedicated run england, parkrun and great run local attendee, but this was to be her first race event!

I had high hopes initially of breaking that elusive 30 mins for a 5km event – I’ve only done it on a training run, and I was really hoping this would be a flat course I could get an ‘official’ race time. My ambitions went out the window when we hit the first hilly trail stretch,  with ups with wooden steps, and downs without them which was rather slippy and precarious in places! Single file with walking stages here. I’d worn my trail shoes having previous experience of my road ones being slick on tarmac when wet, so was able to leave the path a bit to get past a few people, but it still wasn’t speedy.

I’d pushed myself a bit more than normal through the woody trail bit determined to give myself a shot at a pb regardless of the conditions, which meant that as the varying hilliness of the course continued…I was starting to flag by about 2.5km 😦 Back to my steady plodding on the tarmac paths because I am not walking on a 5km whatever the terrain! My fellow Blackhill runner passed me here and carried on, coming in at about 31 mins I think, a very admirable time for a first event! I was a few minutes behind coming in at 33:56. One of the photographers with the Bounders was on the corner before the last straight to the finish, and assured me it was flat the rest of the way…apparently this is what flat looks like to a Bounder…

elevation

That’s a 23m incline. His Missus was with another camera nearer the finish line and had to listen to my general abuse of him as I passed her grumbling! Apparently he’s also got previous for telling people Blackhill ParkRun is flat too…I’m not going running anywhere he refers to as ‘slightly hilly’, and will be approaching with caution anything described as ‘flat’!

After getting to about the 2km mark and knowing a pb was not likely for this particular race, I concentrated on getting round and just enjoying it – and it was a lovely, though regrettably not as flat as I would have liked, course – passing through several woods and parks on pretty good quality paths and with plenty of space for the 100+ runners that attended – a fab turnout for a first event I thought! I suspect the Trail Outlaws may have been involved in some of the course picking given the number of hills that were in it and their love of running round and up Penshaw Monument…which could also be seen in the distance at one point coming round to the last km. It’d be very pretty to walk in the sunshine – this would make it to hot for little old me to jog round!

I’ll be watching with interest to see what else the new Washington Running Club put forward – and hope they raised the funds they needed from today’s event!

Bottoms Up Cup Washington

You can download the GPX data for this race from my Dropbox account by following the link below:

GPX data from Dropbox

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