Forest 5 -
One could easily mistake this event as Cross Country event as there are club vests everywhere - Bracknell Forrest Runners, Sandhurst Joggers, Reading Road Runners, Runnymede Runners, Fleet & Crookham AC, Chineham Park, Farnham Runners etc etc - I do say `mistake this` as I`ve never run a proper XC event - that could change this Winter.... there were mountain bikers everywhere but that`s just cheating.
Last year I managed to talk a `non-running` mate into running this event - he must of enjoyed it as he entered again this year So we get there early and go for a warm up (1.3M @ 9.39/m), we get back and meet Dave & Dennis (other Cove Joggers) in the car park & made our way to the start. The start is a bit congested so I held back at the start (see time difference - 17`s) despite the uphill 1st mile & the heavy legs the trail began to clear. I knew the legs would be tired after Sunday`s 10Km so I decided to wear my new Compression Calf sleeves & bouncy shoes but still felt hard work The 2nd mile is down-hill mile so it felt easier - I didn`t know the splits as I`m not looking at the Garmin as I go round.
Just after the 2M beep we turn a sharp-ish corner & go up a incline. I pushed up a bit here but soon the advantage was lost as a couple of the group I was running join up again - damm what a rookie. Then it`s the turn of the hill at around 2.25M - all I am trying to do is keep it steady. I pass a few runners here which is good & see a couple of `vests` in front (no names being mentioned). I had forgotten how lumpy this course was as for some reason I thought it was down hill after the earlier hill (I was in a state of shocked) but pushed on. I was passing more runners than runners passing me so all good there I guess. I still couldn`t catch Jon from Chineham but at least he wasn`t gaining ground either.
I remembered from last year (due to twists & turns, ups & downs) the course came up short on the Garmin so I was pleased to hear the 4M beep - again taken back up the numbers of ups & downs we still had to go before the finish line but soon enough it was the downhill run-in & through the finish.
Afterwards I sat down & caught up with various folks - got to say hello to emdee which was good.
Splits - 08:21, 07:43, 07:57, 08:06, 07:21 (0.9M @ 08:09/m)
Garmin time - 39:28
Gun to tape time - 39:45
Good fun & well worth turning up for - for the racing & catching up with a few folk.
Next up - Elstead `Marathon` (5.4M) via Woodland 5 & a bit