Delayed by a week so we avoided the snow; just another seven days of rain to add to your pleasure.
When Howard wrote up the route it was nice and dry. When I checked it out last week it was monsoon like horizontal rain and freezing.
It was wet as I drove to Stebbing, but it seems to have held off for most of the 44 intrepid runners. Only a few tales of losing the course, but everyone got back to the pub in reasonable time. Adam who has been known to add to the official distance in the past had no trouble at all to win in a very impressive time of 39.53. First ladies were Keely and Lynn just five minutes back.
Thanks to everyone for not bringing mile 4 mud into the pub and well done all for running in the challenging conditions.
That’s it for the head torches until October, but plenty of Wednesday evening runs to come.
After several wet and cold days it was nice to run in the dry and mild at Mid Essex Casuals’ Presentation Trail. It was however quite wet and muddy underfoot in places.
Although I like running from Rayne, I can’t stand the boredom of the Flitch Way so it was great to only encounter about 100 metres of it. It has also been sometime since I ran up the back of Big Bird hill.
The route then followed good tracks around to the solar farm and I popped out in Willows Green for a bit of pavement bashing, then back to the solar farm and into the southern end of Notley Park.
Then a scene reminiscent of “the Prisoner” as I passed some giant eggs. Dave didn’t make us run up Big Bird again but it is still a climb over the bridge. With Big Bird and giant eggs maybe we'll find a big nest next time we are in the park.
All in all an enjoyable route and pleasant chatter at the end.
See you all on Wednesday.
Thanks for coming to our first venture in the area. 115 runners and walkers started and 115 finished with apparently not too much trouble.
Talking of not much trouble the overall winner was Jackie in a very speedy 44.08 over five minutes ahead of first man Paul. We knew it was a fast course but jeez that is a truly impressive time. Jackie usually tells us she has a niggly injury so presumably she is now back to full health.
We had lots of compliments from our regular runners on the course so to all the locals you live in a nice spot. You knew that of course.
Unfortunately the barman arrived late due to his son’s football match overrunning so there was a long queue for the bar and the barmaid thanks you all for being so patient.
The Smugglers Den was very welcoming and we will return next year.
LARK IN THE DARK
A great turnout at our latest night venture. 71 set off into the cold and 71 returned to the warmth of the Roundbush and enjoyed a curry and a pint.
After a bit of a dip in numbers we really seem to be back in the swing again and attracting runners from all over the county and even London. But it is still the same names winning the races and as with a lot of our events the ladies are well to the fore.
Lynn and Keeley combined to win outright with Philippa third overall. First man was Philippa’s running partner Andy and he was followed home by Daniel and Ian who was doing his first trail. In fact there were several people doing their first narrative trail race and in the dark too.
Unusually there weren’t many tales of woe as most of you got round without a hitch.
We will be back at this great little pub in the summer so you can see where you ran last night.
WHERE WAS SANTA?
What had been snow and ice when I checked the course before Christmas was now mud and water plus a bit more mud and water.
Howard had set a straightforward course as per normal for night races and only one group missed the three Santas turn off the never ending bridleway. There were also a few wet feet at the ford as the mighty Chelmer actually looked like a river for a change.
I walked the course with wifey and Wendy and everyone who passed by was friendly. There were some impressive head torches. I thought one was a car coming up behind us, but it was just a speedy runner. After we crossed the main road we let Ian go ahead and he crossed the stile, we walked around it. Then the shock comment of the night at the chocolate bag. “I’m too hot to eat chocolate” I couldn’t believe my ears.
Then Snig went by (pre nasty fall). Wendy commented on how long the field path was, I told her that there was far worse and longer to come. We barely went five minutes all night without someone catching us up. Sarah told us off for not glowing in the dark.
Back over the main road and along the track I mentioned that sometimes the river overflows into the path, and sure enough it had. Local knowledge took us off the path into the field and to the footbridge.
We finished just ahead of quite a large bunch to find Howard was in the bar somewhere and Dave H was in charge of the laptop. After some time he noted our time.
It was so warm in the bar we took our coats and jumpers off and now guess what? Yes it was the ideal temperature to eat chocolate.
All very sociable in the pub and thanks to Howard for another great night.