A frosty yet sunny morning enticed a rather fetching wave of blue and yellow running tops out of the house to sample that rare treat of a brand spanking new CC6 route! Hosted by New Forest Runners, Lymington Athletes and Lymington Tri-club the meeting point was Holmsley Campsite which provided ample parking tent/flag pitching areas…. And conveniently placed gorse bushes for those like me who need to use the little girl’s room 17001 times before every run.
With frost on the ground, chattering teeth and frozen toes we posed for the team photo, only to be told the sun was behind so we had to turn around and go again, cue shuffling like zombies to face the correct way and trying all over again! We eventually got one. We generally try and aim for these to be taken 30 minutes before the start of any race so people have time after to peel off layers, warm up etc.
And layers were the name of the day with it being cold in the shade, however with the sun warming up it was hard to assess what was best to run in, was it grin and bear it micro shorts and vest time or go full Jo Haley and wear 15 layers? (maybe not 15 but there were at least 3 and she was still cold).
At the start line runners were huddled together with anticipation (or possibly for warmth) ready for the off which was initially delayed as a New Forest Pony was shooed out of the way causing a false start, and then we were off. And so were the Ponies who decided this was the perfect time to practice their stampede and run alongside the first portion of runners, fortunately, this culminated in a near miss only and all runners remained very much not dead.
For a CC6 race this course certainly delivered, it had everything a CC6 should have in abundance. Mud, lots of glorious mud! Big puddles to splash through! Gravel paths, wooded areas and wooded paths, big green open spaces and everyone’s favourite humongous big hills, one of which we got to do twice. We started on the grass and headed towards the trail which is where we met the first batch of puddles with the majority of us running straight through (the big kid in me would have done this regardless even if there had been a dry route). From the puddles we joined onto the forest path into the main bulk of the route. If I’m honest I can’t remember which section came when, there was a big hill then some down, then mud, mud, more mud, and the big bastard hill again. I’m not too great at taking in the exact details especially when my inner monologue is in overdrive screaming “I hate running fast, why do I do this to myself, I want to cry, can I stop yet, shut up and keep running you idiot, almost there, bugger its that hill again, don’t cry, keep pushing and yey there’s the end can I be sick now”. It was a technical course though with all the terrain changes and not knowing when was good to speed up or slow down as we had never run it before.
We are blessed with always having a support crew on hand at events and this week was no different with Rob, Emily, Mike, Neil and his smalls, my smallest small and Harry the worlds cutest doggo cheering us in on the final straight. And our great team spirit ensuring once runners had recuperated they joined the cheer squad to bring the rest of the team home, we added extra blue with the colour of our faces and hands too thanks to the cold.
Brilliant running by everyone and some fantastic results. Jo Haley returned to the fold to be the first TRC lady home and 2nd female which is amazing and Carl Shirley was the first TRC man home coming in 15th place his highest score to date! The men’s team is currently 9th in the table and the ladies are still rocking the top spot, with the other teams having already had a drop out week it’s still tight at the top!
There was one final highlight of the race, and this was the special award handed to early birds coach Jon Marsden. When running started back up but only in small numbers Jon started a coaching session at Testwood Rec at 630am on Wednesdays, it proved so popular that this has continued now all restrictions have been lifted. He was nominated for this special award by a some of his fellow runners in recognition of his commitment, help and all round great coachiness (is that a word? It is now). A well-deserved award, well done Jon and thanks!
Jon’s training is currently on a break during the winter with track sessions in its place, but he will return in the spring. For anyone who has not tried these sessions they are well worth getting out of bed early for and will make a massive difference to your running.
The Next CC6 is Sunday 30th January at Roundhill Campsite let’s keep the sea of blue and yellow rolling and make it a good one!
I shall sign off with something I learnt at this CC6…..NEVER leave the chair unattended with your phone…….