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CC6 @ Badger Farm, Winchester

The penultimate CC6 hosted by Winchester, Solent running sisters and Soton AC on the 6th March 2022. It dawned as a lovely sunny day and felt glorious in Totton, it felt the same when we parked in Winchester Sainsburys........ it most definitely DID NOT feel the same once we had got to the hill to set up. I think the team photo says it all, no one was taking off any layers until the very last minute and they had too. The wind was like a Baltic icy blast, no one as prepared for the drop in temperature we had to endure, except for Harry with his fur coat!

Before I carry on my usual waffle about the course I want to take a moment to say a massive thank you to our unsung heroes Lindsay Davis, Emily Stoodley & Mike Mills. Every CC6 without fail Lindsay will be there to take numbers and submit results and Emily & Mike are our resident cheer squad. They could be home in a nice warm bed but there they are every time in the cold doing their thing which supports us doing our thing (in my case moaning about the cold) and always with a smile and supportive word. So THANK YOU you beauts!

With Winchester and Southampton both dropping out of this race it was a great one for boosting scores both for the team and individually and we got some fantastic results. The female team are still at the top of the leaderboard with one event ago the title is within our grasp..... so all the ladies get your bums out for the last event on 27th March please. On that note I would like to highlight that in the CC6 it really is a team effort, if we do lift the ladies team title at the end of the season its not just down to the ladies finishing in our top 3. Each and every person you come in before regardless of your position is taking away from another team. A great example for this is at this event Hardley ladies got positions 1 & 2, we got 3 & 4 yet we still won on the day as our 3rd lady came in higher in 10th and theirs was in 52nd, and Lordshill had 3 ladies in the top 10. Its also not only the running its the support we give each other, someone may have been feeling not great about their running and you may have told them you thought they were doing really well at the moment and that stuck in their head. You could be there not running and shouting support which just gave that person the boost to kick on. To put it into a really (and I mean really) dodgy running analogy .... the scoring ladies may have done the leg work but the team are the snazzy running trainers that support them on their way, and every runner loves new trainer day!

Someone can slap me for that one later...................

On to the race! We were informed in advance it would be 4 miles long ... hooray! In the start brief we were told the course was now 4.8 miles long due to some last minute alterations, I was not the only one jeering at this announcement. Or, the only person questioning the need to loop a field twice to get the course to 4.8 miles, I think Satan may have been responsible for the planning.

So we started at the bottom of fairly long uphill and for the first portion of the race it was great to see Carl Shirley flying the TRC colours at the front of the pack (and finishing 10th overall)! At the top of the hill we turned and ran back down it (god knows why) and then ran back up it again (insert swear word here). Once we had done the weird loop thing we left the field over a bridge and onto the larger section of the course which involved a very very very long downhill section! It was fast and there was only a small amount of space to get past people so if you managed to maneuver at the right moment and get past someone it was ages before they could get you back or impossible if you managed to speed up a bit and get away from them. During this section my inner monologue constantly reminded me that whatever we went down we would have to go up. I hate my inner monologue it can be a right arse at times.

On making it down the very very very long lovely downhill there was a short but very steep uphill section where I thought I may never breath properly again. And just as I thought I would need to stop and get said breath back there was a lifeline in the form of a single file gate, which meant we had to stop to get through! It was amazing, it was needed seconds of rest enough to recover from the climb and prepare for the next part. The next part being more uphill followed by, well, more uphill of course. The next uphill was a slog but it wasn't horridly steep, just long and enough of an incline that your legs felt every step, this was followed by running the perimeter of a field with another hill in it before heading into a single file trail section where the bloke in front me was getting slower and I seriously debated a slap to the back of his head to speed him up again. I behaved and overtook him on the bridge back into the start area.

At the point of arriving back in the first area near the finish my watch clocked just shy of 4 miles...why didn't it end here I hear you ask? F*&k knows.... again I blame Satan. We had to run back into the first field and do another bloody loop of that field and finish running up hill to the finish!


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