21 June 2015 – Bradgate Park XC

Four Striders made their way to Bradgate Park for the 5km and 10km races, with around 100 other runners.
In the 5km race Stuart Gregory was the only Strider taking part and made hard work of the course in his third race of the weekend finishing the very tough route in 46.40 his slowest time to date with one race still to go later that morning.
In the 10km race, Rob Beers was the first Strider home and 2nd overall in a none too shabby 52.34, followed in 7 minutes later by John Houghton (8th overall) in 59.39, and Louise Houghton (2nd lady) in 1.05.05 to continue her solid form of results on a very hilly course. [Stuart]
It’s well known that a few of the more intrepid of us would be doing the double and following this with the Prestwold 10k straight after. Following Excuses (!) by Dan and Mike , its myself, Lou and John Houghton running the 10k and Stuart Gregory doing the 5k who are rocking the Stilton colours at Bradgate this fine morning.
It is laid back and nicely organised and looks like it’ll be a growing event (the next one in March 2016), the race starts with a mainly downhill route towards Newton Linford gates although I set off far too quick not realizing my legs are badly hung over from Friday`s Beacon Hill run. Sharp left at the bottom and the first of the climbs but it’s a nice route through the park they’ve chosen, quite an incline near what I’d refer to as ‘the climbers rock’ see’s the first of people walking. Around the Tree plantation followed by the long pull up Old John which definitely see’s even more people walking (Well apart from certain people, ahem).
As the course is multiple lap, I seem to have woke up a little and kick on more the second lap, although two people passed me in the last 2k the `all runnable ` adage is a winner as going up Old John the second time I leave them standing (ok walking) . It’s all downhill from here (literally) as the guy behind me isn’t going to catch me on the descent or the rare sprint finish and I’m quite surprised to find I’m second in the 10k race!
John Houghton `s impressive form saw him 8th in the 10k and Lou Houghton 2nd lady, both Houghton`s in great form! Not a PB race by any stretch of the imagination and we`d all have done the 15k instead of racing over to Prestwold in hindsight but was a really great day overall none the less. [Rob]