16 Oct 2016 – Spires and Steeples

I had originally planned to do this stunning point to point event with Simon Proctor, we had originally planned to do the 26.2 mile Lincoln to Sleaford route with Simon raising money for the MIND charity. Unfortunately Simon became injured and I`m sure along with everyone else would like to wish him a speedy recovery and we can have another go at this next year.

So not wanting Simon`s place go to waste my sparring partner John Hudson (running this for the 5th time) stepped up to the plate as part of his Leicester Half Marathon training and I stepped down to the half to accompany him.

For those of you who don’t know this event (And believe me there is far too many Leics club who don’t!) it’s a greatly organised multi-terrain point to point along the Spires and Steeples way, also it`s not really timed so the pressure is off. This is my Sixth Spires; unfortunately it’s not lucky seven as its absolutely dreadful rain this morning with a slight nip in the air also which wood later turn into a head wind. Were transported by luxury coach from Sleaford to Metheringham hoping it drives a little slower as its vile out, luckily after we pick up our numbers the other end the pavilion is open and we don’t have to go out until 5 minutes before the race.

Race starts and it’s a decent amount of runners despite the rain, I set off quite slowly giving myself time to warm up and get used to the cold and rain. After a mile and a half I`m starting to claw people back, I made totally the right choice by putting a stud on today as its not only wet but very muddy , some of the churned up fields must’ve been a nightmare for those in flat road shoes.

My plan today was just to enjoy it and see how I go; having not ran this distance for a while at any real pace. The road sections are somewhat different today; there really was heavy flooding in parts in the small villages. The last time I did this event was two years ago and a comeback race after a long injury-also my first ever race in a Stilton Striders vest! I didn’t feel so great that day and struggled but this time was still running very strong at the place I ran out of steam last time. The last few miles are the worst, it’s a long grassy embankment back to Sleaford that seems to go on forever, if you do the Marathon version it probably does go on forever! I`m back in very good time and apparently 4th place, not bad for a training run, certainly a XC today rather than a trail or multi-terrain.

John ran well also and fingers crossed for Leics Half this coming weekend!

Anyone who has seen the S/S FB site or webpage will notice a ponytailed runner from two years ago, I’m pretty proud of this. However was over the moon with S/S flags at the finish line which bear my image prominently in a Striders shirt! Everyone who finished had to run past them! Made me laugh anyway.

The Pros: Friendly, laid back, very well organised, the route is very nice with a bit of everything, largely flat, not really timed, well signed and marshalled, lots of Ducks when you get back to Sleaford, the Rob Beers flag,

The Cons: If it rains heavy it’s a different event effort wise, very meagre at feed stations and goodie bag after such generosity in previous years, the slog along the embankment at the end which neither myself or John ever like.