Blue Runnings

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

Butterwick 10k 2016

Today was a repeat run of one of last year’s – my third repeat of the year – which considering how many races I did last year by now is almost impressive in itself! J and I went to the Butterwick Hospice 10k last year, and enjoyed it despite finding the route very challenging – those hills! – so it was one the definitely made the calendar for this year.

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We had quite a few walk breaks last year as there were some rather serious hills, particularly at the start. They’d changed the start and finish points this year, which slightly modified the route. It felt like the starting hill was longer, but not actually steeper – the elevation graph shows different and we netted out at the same height, but the difference is that this time we made it all the way up without stopping! We came back down the hill and crossed the ford at the bottom – which we’d both forgotten about – WITHOUT getting wet shoes! Hurrah!

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It was around this point that I discovered my shoes were starting to rub…maybe 3-4km in? I’ve worn my Cascadia’s several times before – they’ve done nearly 150 miles with me without this problem, through sand, mud and sunshine, so having them rub was a bit frustrating. Maybe it was my socks? I don’t know. Annoyingly I’d nearly put my road-runners on but decided that no, I’d paid good money for trail shoes for exactly this sort of race so I should wear them. No point stopping to check, such things don’t get better being looked at and we had a race to finish!

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Butterwick Hospice 10k – Hamsterley Forest

What happened to that lovely run streak I had going at the start of the week?! I had it all planned out…I would run at least 5k every day from Monday to Wednesday, have Thursday off, do a gym session on Friday, have Saturday off, then hit the Butterwick 10k on Sunday. Monday and Tuesday went vaguely according to plan, and then work happened. The machine went bang on Wednesday afternoon and it was after midnight before I left for home, back in the next morning for a full day and I was out like a light almost as soon as I got in the door on Thursday evening. Friday was just me playing catch-up 🙂 So, we arrive at Sunday having only done half the exercise we were expecting and praying for rain so it might be slightly cooler.

Having run at Hamsterley Forest before, I had some inkling of the type of terrain likely to be involved in this run – it was a bit much to hope that it would be along the road at the bottom of the valley and back, and therefore flat, and my inklings were confirmed by one of the Bounders posting on Facebook asking if anyone else was doing this hilly one today…When you’ve spent the last week struggling to run 5k on a flat, 10k of hills is the last thing you want to think about facing, and I know how big and long some of the hills at Hamsterley can be! If I could make it round in one piece, it would however be a good confidence booster to reassure me that even if I finish as roasted as a Sunday lunch chicken, I can get round and break that 5k wall I seem to have put up lately.

We got to Hamsterley Forest in plenty of time to register, and they had something I haven’t seen for a run before – usually the timing chip is on the race number or needs cable-tying to your laces, these were padded ankle bracelets like tracking devices just incase we left the beaten track and tried to take a short-cut so we could win all the things or something…

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