So I managed it. I’m the 2016 – 2017 Ladies V40 Age Group winner of the Wiltshire Off Road League. Phew! The prize will be presented in June, so I’ve a while yet to clear a space on the mantlepiece. To celebrate, thanks to a friend’s suggestion I’ve pulled together a collection of my “most attractive race faces pulled whilst winning this category”. Enjoy!
Starting in brilliant sunshine was the Marshfield Mudlark. Hiding at the back in this team photo, confusingly I’m not the one with “Lucy” on her vest.
Next up was the White Horse Gallop. We got up close and personal with the Westbury White Horse, and I got possibly my most favourite race photo ever.
Keeping to the horsey theme, the Wickstead Wander involved horse jumps, ditches, a large amount of water, a rosette and an inflatable dolphin.
The tri-county XC race at Bath University was a scary, serious race. Not only was I last Harrier home, I was the last person home in my race. No race face, but a great warm-up skipping photo.
Next up was the big one, the Lungbuster, which unexpectedly had “the hill” twice.
Rounding it all off, the SMaRTT Smasher 10K :-
After the Smasher, they handed out the team prizes, and I got to stand in for our Men’s team captain who was ill and collect the trophy with Julia, our Ladies’ captain. I wasn’t letting go of the trophy once I got my hands on it!
That was quite a season, more so because I accidentally entered the League as an easy way back into racing. I’ve always preferred off-road running, as it’s much easier than all that tarmac and no one minds if you walk up the hills*. There’s mud to mess around in, water to jump into and more often than not cake at the end. Have I sold it to you yet? You also get the usual assortment of goodies at the end.
Give it a try next season. It makes you feel like a badass – who else runs around in shorts and vest in the middle of winter? (Anyone answering”an idiot” is just being rude.)