Dukeries10 result and report by Helen Smith

Race Date: Sunday 22nd February 2020

Report by Helen Smith

Looking back I have absolutely no idea why I signed up to this race…someone mentioned it on a Heeley training run and I thought why not?  It seemed a great way to kick start my off road racing and give me a taste of the delights of mud and grass rather than tarmac and an easy 10 miles towards the end of my training for the Ashby 20.  It felt like a good idea. (we’ll review the use of the word “easy” a little later)

Race HQ was in a village hall in Walesby,  No big queue to pick up my race number and chip timer which, whilst a huge positive, gave me far too much time to deliberate over shoe choices, waterproof or no waterproof, hydration vest or no hydration vest…another trip to the loo or not….Too many decisions and my mind changed as many times as the weather (which was a combination or showers and bright sunshine and the recently all to familiar strong wind!!)

Race briefing compete (including a warning of the flooding at mile 2 and mile 6 meaning temporary river crossings were inevitable) we (all 250 of us) headed outside to the start and away we went.

The first mile was beautiful, along a farm track and into the woods. I happily plodded along having told myself this was a training run not a race, but found myself to have lost Jo and Jane who were the only other Striders…a combination of over-enthusiasm and just a joy of being in the fresh air and off road meant I didn’t stick to the steady pace I intended..but wait…there was a queue. ( how very British) everyone was stood in line waiting patiently to wade through knee high freezing cold water for about 100 metres…refreshing some would say….bloody freezing I said! Over the other side and on we went…mainly around field edges and through beautiful woodland….I was really getting to enjoy this off road thing, despite wet feet and a bit of mud I could get used to this.

I happily carried on chatting to fellow runners and enjoying the scenery which was lovely, fields and woodland mainly,  until the next flood where if it hadn’t been for a lovely lady who’s name now escapes me I’d have face planted having taken a step too far to the right and found the water went not just knee high but thigh high!! I ran with my own personal lifeguard chatting away for the next 2 miles until we hit another maze of fields and here’s where it all got a bit tricky.

The mud was so churned up we could barely walk without slipping never mind run so mile 8 was basically a slow slippy walk with the only target to keep my shoes on!

My sense of humour lost somewhere, we came out of the fields and were reassured we were nearly home by the friendliest marshals I’ve ever come across. It was great to return to a track rather than muddy fields but by now with very little energy left it was a slow slog home…

My slowest ever 10 mile race, the muddiest, the wettest…but…the best fun…such a friendly event with fantastic marshals, great scenery, a fantastic route and a T-shirt and medal (and my medal was engraved with my name!)

This is definitely on my list for next year…but don’t tell anyone else as there’s only 250 places and I don’t want it to sell out before I get a place!!

A sell out with 250 runners, only 195 braved it on the day and 185 finished

First male -Keith Swainson in 1:11:59 (no club info),

First female – Jamie Whittaker in 1:22:53 (Erewash Valley RC)

Striders Results:

Strider Position Time
Helen Smith 147 02:19:22
Jane Huws 172 02:36:42
Jo Gleig 173 02:36:47

Full Results are available here  https://events360.co.uk/results/?event_id=23

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