The Eighth running of this wonderful multi-terrain race at Great Ponton (Between Grantham and Melton for the less Geographically inspired). I’ve long sung the plaudits of this one, put together with a small team with proceeds going to charity, a very small entry fee for the 12, 17 or 27 mile route for runners or walkers.It seems a few more Leicestershire clubs have turned out this year for what could be a great warm up for Seagrave Wolds veterans. Organiser Stuart Ashley gets proceedings under way with a short speech before suddenly say `Ok, off you go` , which is a bit different to those used to whistles, air horns and the like.
The beginning of the race is the worst, coming out the village over the very bouncy bridge over the A1, a bit of road, a stony track and a golf course which seems all uphill. However once your away from that it’s a great tour of the South Kesteven area , having lost sight of the leaders about forty minutes in, I wait for the person behind who not only knows where he`s going but has won the event a couple of times. Perhaps sensibly it slows me down as not feeling my very best today and the next few miles are spent in chatter along the Viking way.
A beautiful drop down to the village of Denton, it’s a nice clear day and easy to spot Newark in the background. As we go through Harlaxton a couple of signs have been taken down/moved and not sure how the first lady who was following us managed to get ahead of me if I’m honest. Apparently we are going the right way as we cross a ploughed field and head uphill towards a copse of tree`s but end up lost and off-path, knocking about 5 mins off where I was.
By this time the pace has become too easy and I`m worried about who has passed me when we went wrong so kick back a bit over my favourite part of the course around Hungerton and Wyville, lovely offroad area. Still end up getting slightly lost again but pass two people in the last 1.5 miles and come in 5th place, had I known where I was going and not treated the middle bit as a training run could’ve done better (forever the critic).
The Plod however is known for it, all Strider`s doing it got lost! A very good Charnwood ac runner got lost, the central theme being don’t just be a good runner but learn to use a map also! It’s a bit of fun, seriously don’t take it too seriously.
Nicholas Smith 2nd in the 12 mile, he`ll say it was due to navigation but he is running very well, Jon Wilson ran his longest distance ever in training for Leicester Marathon getting lost and running 31k!
Please do think about this one next year its only down the road, the large bowl of soup, free tea and coffee and selection of custard laden puddings free to all runners just put the icing on a great morning. [Rob]