Oundle 20 mile 2024 Report and Results

Report by: Mandy Taylor
Race Date: 10th March 2024

The Oundle 20 mile race starts at Oundle school and goes into the local countryside passing through several villages in Northamptonshire, in a loop on an undulating course.

I have done this previously – 2 years ago, so was aware of the pretty route and it being isolating at times. However, while waiting for confirmation re a London marathon place, I missed out on the Ashby 20, which I’ve been told is a good one to do. Looking at other races close by I could only find Spen 20, but that didn’t appear to open so booking onto Oundle seemed a decent last resort.
This year, Oundle has introduced 5 and 10k runs as well.

So on a cold, wet and miserable morning I arrived.

Yes I was aware that there were no indoor area for changing, last time this was not an issue being a dry fine day, but being wet before the race didn’t seem good. Drop bag area was at the finish line, outdoors with a tarpaulin to cover said bags.

Just in time for the start the rain eased and I changed heavier waterproof into a light showerproof jacket, walked to the start line and feeling a little bit more optimistic off I went.
Short lived, a constant drizzle with the occasional downpour began, the already puddle filled roads got wetter, though it wasn’t windy there was a definite chill in the air. At around 8 miles I began to get cold and tire so when a group of runners all wearing pink/purple battenburg tops passed, who also appeared to have several runners following, I hung on to them for about 3 miles. It was nice to have had some company. But off they went. I slowed as I began to tire further, found that my fingers were freezing and not able to manipulate opening gels or getting any nibbles out from the pockets of my hydro pack. I stopped at the aid station for water. The rain drenched jaffa cakes and jelly beans swimming in rainbow coloured water did not hold any appeal for me. Had to plod on.

I know the route is nice and scenic but probably due to the weather there was very little in the way of spectators and it was very isolating on the lanes. I think that when you passed anyone or got overtaken, there was a bit of light hearted chit chat, I think some other runners were desperate for company as well.

I had thought that it rained most of the run, but in hindsight I do remember not seeing rain splashes in puddles about half hour from the finish, my glasses just gave the illusion that it was, especially as both my jacket and t shirt were drenched, I can’t remember ever being so cold on a run.

Self-motivation was mixed, the need to get to the end versus just wanting to give up. Plodding on I knew I wouldn’t match the time from 2 years ago. (I was 5 mins slower) but I had set a target of 3 hours and I did achieve this with 3 mins to spare. 😊

At the finish you were given a medal (truly deserved it this time) but no goody bag or t shirt (had to pay extra for this). Disappointingly there were no bottles of water or nibbles either.

It took a while to recover and warm up and for my hands to lose the claw like appearance (good job I wasn’t driving!). It was, I think, the most uncomfortable race I’ve done but lesson learned!

So cold ! Mandy can’t get her gloves on.

Lovely route if you like running on country lanes. I do like this, just a case of being prepared.

Sadly, no other Striders there.

384 Runners;

The race was won by James Fisher – Long Eaton RC – 1.57.33
First lady Claire Frankland – West End Runners – 2:09:04

Striders results:

Pos Name Time Cat Cat Pos
49th female Mandy Taylor 2.56.48 FV60 3

Link to full results here.



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