The Squeaky Bone relay is held by Olney runners each year. Having took part last year I had a fairly good idea of the course and was looking forward to taking part with the same team again.
Starting the morning with a bagel (the only thing that I can stomach pre-run) I was up and ready to pick up the rest of the team. We arrived at around 9am where we were directed to the carpark (a field!) and make our way to the race area.
Picking up our race numbers and the infamous Squeaky Bone relay baton we prepared for the day ahead. With the conditions so different to the previous year – a warm, sunny, dry October – the rain looked as though it wasn’t going to hold off for us. The race was so well supported as the first groups set off for the 3.5 mile cross country lap.
I was second to go so after about 20 minutes lined up in the pen ready to keep my eye out for my teammate. Spotting her I headed over to the ‘hand-over’ area, ready to complete my lap. It began quite slippy so I kept it very steady, once out of the main field the mud began! Knowing the course from last year I knew that we’d start along the outside of a field before heading downhill into the second. Getting along well, and squeaking my bonw a few times, the mud really hit in the second field and I slowed down to a jumping-run to avoid getting stuck in the really deep parts. The nice thing was that once out of one muddy field we were on to another much less slippy and muddy.
The cross country route then takes you through some woodland, where we were running single file with a little more mud before heading up a slight incline, down a path (with a little more mud!) and back into the start area where our third teammate was waiting to take on the next lap.
My time was around two minutes slower than last year (34.13) but I was pretty happy given my running shoes were not prepared for a trail and there was a fair bit of mud in places.
Heading off the course I received my medal – a nice reminder of the day that everybody who took part received. As well as this we also each received a boot bag that came in really handy for the car.
Once the team was back, we stopped for a bacon sandwich (something which I remember from the previous year and was really looking forward to) and a hot chocolate before making the journey home.
Overall a fantastic local event with brilliant organisation. The only thing I would say is that I would have preferred normal water rather than a choice of coconut water and red bull. The refreshments at the end were great with a whole tent dedicated to cake! I’ll be back next year.