I'm enjoying some of the local races as a Spa Strider now. A few weekends ago I took part in the Hilly 100. A 100 mile race in the Cotswolds, finishing up in Stratford upon Avon, with teams of 10 all running 10 miles each. I had leg 4, and was partnered with leg 3 runner Jude. I supported her for her leg, as she did for mine. It was an early start - though not as early as legs 1 and 2 who started at 5am! We got to Jude's changeover point in good time for the second leg runner to come in (it had all been worked out based on us running an average of 1hr30mins). We waited...and waited...and waited...! Then we had a message saying the leg 2 had taken a wrong turn and had gone a long way out. Doh!! He eventually got back on track, having run more like 15 miles that 10. Jane set off and we were back on the correct route! I drove the car, stopping at various points along the way with water. Then 10 miles later is was my turn to run. We had done a recce earlier in the week, so new the way to go, though was great having Jude at all the turns to make sure I stayed on track! It was pretty undulating most of the way - the Cotswolds are really beautiful, but they were certainly hilly - as the name of the race suggests. The last mile was the biggest hill of all!! Straight up and seemed to go on forever! I was pleased to see a group of Striders cheering at the top though which really helped! Managed to run my leg in 1hr14mins17s, which i was pleased with, given the hills! I handed over to Leg 5 runner, and headed home for a rest before driving back to Stratford in the evening for the final runners coming in. A great race and team spirit - loved it!!
The following weekend I gave the Coventry parkrun a go! It was a really hot sunny day, but lots of the course is sheltered under the trees. It takes place at the Coventry War Memorial park, and the 5km involves 2 and a bit laps of the park. Much flatter than the Leamington parkrun, great course. After chasing a girl from Warwick University most of the way, I was pleased to edge past her with about 1km to go and held on to make it round as first lady in 19:45. I'm looking forward to trying a few more local parkruns in the area.