I always dread the first “race” of each year and my feeling toward this was no exception, particularly as the first event is normally February or March. In fact, I almost didn’t enter this as I thought we were likely to be running the course the horses run, i.e. the dreaded grass surface. As it goes, we were promised tarmac paths around the course when going the entry process. That turned out to be very far from the reality of it!!
A small but perfectly formed team of five Lliswerrians, Lord and Lady Christchurch, Vince and Gabby Lovell plus Amanda Toms took part in this event which was the first venture into Wales by the organisers Run Through. https://www.runthrough.co.uk/ They have a lot of events planned throughout 2022 at some interesting locations.
This event covered three races. A half marathon which kicked off at 9.30am; the 10K at 10.15am and a 5K at some time later (sorry can’t remember). It soon became obvious this was not going to be a fast course and having set off and negotiated the small section of downhill tarmac we were soon running over sand, mud, gravel tracks and lot’s of potholes along what was described as “an undulating course”. They weren’t kidding!! The 10K was effectively 2 laps of part of the racecourse plus some of the spectator areas including a lovely hill behind the grandstand. On lap one things got a little crowded with us 10K runners trying to overtake the slower half marathon runners and in turn being overtaken by the really fast boys and girls half marathoners. It did eventually thin out and things passed without incident.
The after race “goody’s” included a can of Lucky Saint alcohol free lager (oh lovely), and some decent energy type snacks. The race medal was very unique and splendid.
I’ve done many 10K’s over the years, too many to mention, and I think this is the toughest one I’ve run. This is as near a trail event as this confirmed tarmac runner is ever likely to do, and Vince confirmed it reminded him of some of the Forrest of Dean races. Personally, I was happy with my time and I think the rest of the Lliswerry contingent were too and I know Amanda got a PB which is remarkable given the terrain and surfaces.