I was very non-committal about this race after race 1 however after race 2 I found myself rather addicted, it’s a real novelty, that said don’t let that lure you into a false sense of security, when you look at the hill from the bottom and look down the other side from the top I would imagine a majority of people are thinking similar to ‘What have I let myself in for?!’ but with more swearing.
As everyone congregates at the Illmington sports pavilion there’s a real buzz of excitement, there were a lot of faces from the Redditch and surrounding communities and several representatives of the Triathlon Redditch club were present. It’s a race where there are several worthy rewards to look forward to on completion, in order: 1).the views at the top! 2).the sausages at the finish 3). Being one step closer to the coveted hoodie. The start is a bit cramped with all the runners on a small road but it soon spreads out. When you begin climbing in the earlier km’s the thought of these rewards alone simply are not enough, you have to focus on really pumping the arms and placing one foot in front of the other. You might find yourself taking motivation from someone that runs past you and wish to keep up with them just to admire their anatomy from behind as a distraction …. I personally took my motivation by positioning myself closely behind Triathlon Redditch club coach Martin Potter and staring at a pair of calves that are often a topic of conversation.
When you reach the top of the hill at about 7k you then have to determine whether your going to go all out and risk the possibility of face planting on the descent(it’s that steep) I was a running sections of the descent at sub 5 min mile pace a combination of gravity & the extra weight factoring here or lean back and fight it with your jazz hands. You reach 9k and whereas normally jubilation sets in because you’ve reached the home straight, unfortunately your not done and there’s a couple of further cheeky inclines to tackle before slip sliding your way through to the finish through the muddy sports field, a cause of entertainment to the crowds of those applauding and offering encouragement to those approaching the finish line.
The three most camp runners ever seen from L to R :- Mike Griffiths, Martin Potter and Rob Williams
Then BANGERS! very tasty they are too made by a local butcher and a different variety on each of the 4 occasions thus far. Triathlon Redditch’s very own butcher, Rob, can confirm that the sausages are very good. You then hand in your timing chip and check your finish time on a laptop.
On a slightly more serious note this is a very addictive race, completed by a wide spectrum of abilities, it’s well supported and very well organised, it is run on open road, however traffic is light and other road users are generally very courteous. There was a professional photographer at two points around the course capturing the smiles, laughs and grimaces. You’re not going to set a 10k PB on this course but it’s great winter training and you should be running a faster flat 10k after doing this race. If you’re interested in the next race at this location (the reverse route) it’s on 21st Feb, you can pre-register or sign-up on the day from an hour before the 10.30 start. Alternatively you may find a friend in need of a stand in to ensure they can claim their hoodie on completion of all 5 races .
Mike Griffiths 49th overall in 47:09
Martin Potter 65th overall 48:54
Jayne Perry 22nd female (100th overall) 52:07
Rob Williams 169th overall Result Withheld 😉
Mike Griffiths with Rob Williams