Eek! After a one week work trip and a two week holiday for some reason I thought it would be a great idea to sign up to a 20 mile race the day after arriving home! What was I thinking …
Having taken part in my first Draycote Water 10k in January in freezing cold conditions I thought that I had an idea of the course. It’s funny how a few months and weather conditions change your view so quickly! I’d missed the pre-race email though managed to start my day off nice and early with a classic pre-run bagel with butter and a couple of glasses of water arriving the venue to a queue of traffic at around 9am. I picked up my race number, a pretty easy process and got in line for the loos. In line, I arranged myself – pinned my race number to my top, buckled my belt and made sure the GPS was set on my watch. Whilst in the line I learnt from another runner that it was a 20 minute walk to the 20 mile start line – damn for missing that email! Note to self – check emails in the days leading up to race day.
The walk was long. I almost wished I’d started my watch and tracked the ‘warm-up’, getting chatting to a few people the race (also including a 10k and 10 mile) was full of excitement and nerves for the miles ahead. With some confusion for where the 10 mile start line was along the way we continued on, jogging when we heard the race director announcing we had seconds to make it to the line.
My run stated off well, probably a little too fast but that’s nothing unusual. After the first 5 mile lap that’s where the struggles started. Hills seemed like mountains and the laps around the reservoir went on forever. At mile 10 I could have easily given up and called it a day. Hot (it was around 22 Celsius) I slowed down completely to a power walk and continued on. Those who lapped me were so friendly saying well done as they went past. Lap 3 came and went and all I could think about was reaching the finish. After a quick refuel and fill up of my water bottle at around mile 17 I was ready to plough through to the end. I somehow managed to work up the energy to run the final 0.2miles through the line with a great amount of supporters still there cheering us on.
Overall Draycote Water is a lovely place to run. The 20 mile route was well stocked with water etc on the aid stations and marshals were around the course cheering us on. It would have been nice to have a unique medal/t-shirt as everybody received the same however for £16 it was great value for money.
Race highlights – fantastic marshals and scrummy goodies at the aid station. The goody bag was great too!
Lowlight – Don’t schedule a 20 mile run after a two week holiday!
Ok, I was one of the final finishers but I made it to the end and have the t-shirt and medal to prove it.