So I made it to the middle of the last week before admitting to myself I wasn’t going to complete this year’s challenge. I’ve left it to the final day before admitting it to everyone else.
My first mistake was in miscounting the number of weekends we had. I presumed it was 7 weekends for 7 Coffeeneuring trips. Then I missed one weekend because I was just too tired. In a panic I realised I could still manage it if I got out once in the week, and twice in the last weekend.
I had an early shift on Wednesday so had planned to pop out on my bike when I got home and before it went dark ( I’m just too scared to cycle on our unlit country lanes after dark). Then good news – I got a job interview! Bad news – it was Wednesday morning so I had to rearrange my shift and lose my chance to fit in a sneaky Coffeeneuring trip.
With no more opportunity to get out this week I knew that was it. Sad, but I’m not Superwoman and can’t do everything. Well done to everyone who has completed the challenge this year. As for me, hey – there’s always next year 🙂
Here we go again – Wiltshire Off-Road League Race number 3.
Bring it on again! Bring mud, hills, more mud, more hills. Then bring even more mud and even more hills. That just about sums this race up, although it doesn’t do it justice.
Sadly, at the top of the hills it was so foggy you could see nothing. However I’ve been assured the views are magnificent on a clear day. It was so muddy that you couldn’t even run some of the downhills, but hey – walking’s okay!
Without wanting to sound like a masochist, I really enjoyed this race right up to mile 5. After that, my lack of fitness and training really made themselves felt. I struggled to stay warm after the water stop at mile 5 and probably should have taken something sugary to eat for an energy boost.
A huge plus point is the fantastic race photo I actually bought because I liked it so much. Me with two of my Harriers buddies. Look at us running up that hill, whilst the people behind us walk (cough cough – as IF we’d start running again as soon as we saw the photographer!)
Race number 3 of the off road league complete. Next stop – Tri-Counties XC. It couldn’t be worse than last year, could it??
Nice picture, hiding the reality of a low effort / lower enthusiasm ride.
It was cold, it was windy, I didn’t want to go, but I made it out for a minimal “Coffeeneuring without walls ” trip. Pretty view from the lay-by but my phone was too full for anymore photos. Ride number 4 done, 2.8 miles, sachet of mocha that was pretty bad but at least I could warm my hands on my mug before pedalling home again in the gloom.
We all remember this one from last year, don’t we? The only with the big, dark, water jump? Okay, a little photographic reminder:-
This race was again part of the Wiltshire Off-Road League, so of course I again had to enter it. It is the only race in our local off-road calendar that encourages fancy dress, so at the last minute I tried to think of an economical costume that would be amusing, runnable-in, and that would survive the water jump and other horse jumps. Seeing as the water made such an impression on me last year, I used that as my inspiration. So, I give you :- swimming cap and goggles!
Here you can see me preparing for my impressive entry into the water:-
but sadly the actual moment of flesh-hitting-murky-water was missed by the photographer.
The rest of the race was much as I remembered last year’s (to be truthful, quite a lot of fairly dull running around the edges of fields). However, moment of the race for me had to be seeing the burly “Marilyns” from the Royal Wootten Bassett Hounds helping each other over a stile by keeping the brambles from snagging their dresses. Although this sadly wasn’t captured on camera, I can however show you them pouting their way through the water jump:-
After struggling at the Marshfield Mudlark, and realising the Wickstead Wander was fast approaching I decided I’d better do some training. So on Sunday I planned a route involving hills, mud, more hills, woods and also a tweak on a route I’ve run before. The beautiful parts of the run were breathtaking (although that could have been the hills). Autumn in the woods is so beautiful and so full of colour.
Six and a half miles of beautiful exploring was exactly what I needed after another stressful week at work.
An interesting point of the run was when I ran past a new housing development. Two years ago this was a derelict MOD site which sat atop miles of tunnels. This was one of the Government’s secret bunkers in the Cold War, and I wrote about how it looked here. As a sneak preview, 2 years ago the approach looked like this:-
and today it looks like this:-
Funniest though is how all but 1 of the three ‘slope shafts’ have disappeared. I wonder if the houses are described as having “extensive cellars”?!
From here, a new route headed back towards the woods and so onto home. You know you’ve chosen a hilly route when you stand atop the slope you’re about to run down and think “I’ve sledged down here!”
So, training done. Bring on the Wickstead Wander …