A 5 mile trail run awaited me on this Wednesday evening. I had no idea of the route just it had to loop given the 10 and 15 mile runs also taken place were loops of the 5 mile. I had deliberately picked the 5 mile as I am not a fan of loop/lap races. I will do them but prefer not to if I can help it. Here I was on a very windy Wednesday evening, stood talking to a friend I hadn't seen since 1992 and wondering where the route would take us.
I had opted to wear trail shoes, but with hindsight this was a bad idea and actually road would have been more than OK. The air horn didn't work but we all set off anyway. I made a good start 1 lady in front of me who I kept right on her back. Down the hill and over the river, first mile down and it felt good. Over the mini bridge and some of boundary leg. We met a marshal which in the brief we were told to turn left but we were told to turn right, that was confusing. Through the fields and to the road. I thought there should be a water station by now but none to be seen, never mind. Roads are open so we have to take care, before up and more up! Still holding on to second place, feeling good and with a very big gap behind me. Down the field and through the village. A slightly bigger gap opens up to the lady in front of me, not to worry I thought. Down the path and back to the cricket club before disaster struck.
An arrow points right I turn right. Woods, through woods, dead end. I turn back. Arrow says right but there is nothing there. 2 runners catch me up. They do the same as me. We all look confused. Maybe it means through the gate and right. By this point loads of runners have caught me up. We go through the gate. There are two rights? so which one?? We guess. Thankfully guessed correct this time. Marshal supposed to turn right this time but instead it is left. Up through the farmers fields.
Signs have gone so we guess head up. Stuck in a pen and have to scale a wall taller than me. The drop on the other side was not fun. I am annoyed by this point. Up the field to be turned around back into the car park. Down the hill where I can sense a runner on my shoulder.
I push on directed to go straight, I get pushed and try to dodge a tree all at the same time. The runner slips past me. I am now really annoyed and push as hard as I can. I finish in 4th place 4 secs behind the lady in 3rd. Gutted doesn't cover it.
I checked strava later and discovered my strava time is actually quicker, not sure how that works but never mind.
I was upset and angry when I crossed that finish line. Having worked so hard to have both 2nd and 3rd place slip away because I got lost due to the signs. Always another race and if anything I am now more determined than ever.