The initial Keyworth Trail Run is an event of 15 or 30k (although they’ll happily admit it’s 31.5k), a good crowd is on hand for the event in proceed of Willowbrook primary school in Stanton on the Wolds. It’s a nice day although the fog is quite heavy and when it clouds over quite cool, having rained much of the week it’s going to be heavy going in places. There is but one Stilton Striders shirt on display this morning for this local event (cough!) and far more from our local neighbours.
The longer distance starts half an hour earlier at 9:30am, having done 21 miles and over 3000ft of ascent the previous day the idea of staying with Malcolm Harris and Simon Cole from Barrow Runners on the way round thankfully leaves my head in the first 2 miles. I can feel very uphill in my quads and by mile three the option of cutting back via the shorter route is certainly more than an idea as we head towards Wysall. Do not be put off by the word ‘Trail’, this route has some serious XC equal to and surpassing the wetter years of the Charnwood Seagrave course and the Belvoir Challenge-ploughed up fields and mud baths aplenty.
Next we head towards Wymeswold and all throughout the run I’m on tracks and paths I never knew existed, it really is that superb and rural sometimes you could be anywhere in the country let alone somewhere between local villages. A little later we head towards Willoughby and even then we are on paths I hadn’t of thought using before, although a couple of people went wrong I found the signage throughout very good indeed. On the other side of Willoughby the sun comes out, and head towards Widmerpool , there is now a few really feeling the strain, saying it’s supposed to be only 195ft of ascent its very undulating! Never does the terrain become a bore: one minute your going through fields, then a track, then road, then woodland, even though I’m familiar with the layout of the local villages it kept me guessing throughout.
Long pull back to Keyworth, with me doing a great impression of someone trying to run on the road back to Stanton on the Wolds, finally I get back and happy with the time given I used as a training run and some often brutal terrain. Great organised event with very nice marshals and event staff, chip timing, absolutely awesome route, didn’t expect a goodie bag so to get a really good one including a T-shirt was superb! Very fairly priced entry and really hope this grows next year. Really would like to see more Striders shirts next year, there were quite a few excellent events on but it’s always nice to support the local races and this was a cracker. [Rob]