Is this truly spring now? Only a few weeks ago I was wearing my thermals and handing out ice cold water to equally ice old runners on the Haweswater half, todays foray into the world meant 18 degree temperatures and not a cloud in the sky, short shorts and vests were de rigeur for the inaugural Lorton 10k.
On our arrival the first thing to greet us was the fantastic surrounding views with a stunning blue sky backdrop. Eden shirts kept appearing in ones and twos until there was a nice cohesive little group of us 8 strong at the start (Christine felt the need to add extra pressure to her day by arriving late and running to and through the start line!). As this run was an unknown quantity being a new addition to the calendar there were a few uncertainties and discrepancies in each persons understanding of how “undulating” it was going to be. In hindsight I would ban “undulating” from the vocabulary list and just go for honest and simple “bloody hilly”.. Hands were shaken and ‘good lucks’ proffered before the school bell rang (I had to resist the urge to “get in line” at the sound of that), then off we set into our first hill. Well it felt that way anyway. Friendly smiling (amused?) faces of the local residents lined the way and as the huddle thinned out I started to realise that there was little shade in which to hide from the strong sun, coupled with a minimal breeze it became apparent that a PB was not going to be achieved this day! Better then to enjoy the scenery, the roadside flowers, the hills, the lambs in the field, the hills, the blue sky, the hills….. I swear they all went upwards, I thought at one point we were going to just strike out onto the fells above!! Perhaps I exaggerate – perhaps it was the shock of the blessedly good weather and the fact that our winter training thus far has been in the dark, so basically you couldn’t always see what was ahead. In Lorton you could. It was another hill. Ok – maybe I’ve gone over the top with the hill thing (although after the bridge at the turnaround point when faced with yet another beast I did wonder if “over the top” was ever going to be achieved! …. Right you are – I’ll desist pressing that point…
Reasonably quiet roads meant that there were not too many distractions from traffic and most of the run was unhindered, but the heat was a novelty that soon wore off and at the 7k mark I’ll admit to my resolve wavering just a little, and I struggled to find the reserves for a sprint finish, as the gravel area we crossed prior to the grass field ending almost took me off my feet, but a good crowd at the post spurring people on (I could hear Paul and Wade shouting) helped me to push on – and there was never a sweeter sugary drink passed by a Lorton schoolchild given!
Everyone finished without injury which is always good and after the well needed cups of water the breakdown was as follows. Ruth (who by the way had a great run to finish as second lady overall!) headed off with her clutch of children, Christine likewise wither family, Gill and Shaun had ideas to go shopping in Keswick, while Stuart and Kevin headed out to do the course again!! (gluttons for punishment), Wade eagerly made his way for cake and jacket potato (I still believe he has hollow legs!) while Paul and I hung around in the (vain) hope of a spot prize. Paul did manage to acquire a voucher for some socks – you have to make the most of life’s opportunities!
It was nice for Eden to gain a mention in the thank you speeches (alongside Derwent and Keswick) for adding this race to our championship list and it is a good challenging course, although I reckon next year it will be under snow! Which makes me think, the last blog I wrote was while watching a snow shower prior to Christmas, but today I’m basking on the patio, eating my ice cream, listening to the birds and admiring the emerging garden, with its new starts, new life and new energy – a good maxim perhaps for the now underway summer championship season – so whichever race you’ve got lined up next – Go Eden! J (Then write about it afterwards!)