“Should’ve been cycling” – Not the Roman IX

After cancelling a group ride due to poor weather conditions, someone decided that it would be a good idea to enter Not the Roman IX. Never taken part in this event before. After taking 6 months off racing to get over an injury, this was my first opportunity to push a bit harder and test the old body. Well organised, helpful, friendly volunteers and fellow runners. Lots of familiar faces from Arrow Valley and Redditch Triathlon. An odd distance, 12K, didn’t really know how to pace for it, particularly with all those hills. So thought I’d take it steady the first couple of K, then decide what to do. Well as the first couple of K were downhill, the plan went out the window! First 2 miles of this race I was thinking “I love this, I missed this!” Then came the hill, relentless and steep! All those folks that I’d overtaken on the first couple of miles starting overtaking me on the uphill, my calves were on fire, I was becoming very demotivated “this is hell, why am I doing this?” my body wanted to stop, but I just kept plodding on, knowing here had to be a downhill soon. 2 miles later, with lots of encouragement from spectators, marshals and other runners the summit was reached and oh the descent felt good! Back into go faster mode, and it actually felt pleasant for a while. But once 10k had been reached every little uphill, even the speed bump at the end was super challenging! Usually I get a nice sprint finish on, however those extra 2k, when you’re body is so used to racing 10 wiped me out. VERY happy to finish this one! Not disappointed though, because the knackered old body held up and I did manage a couple of fast splits, even if they were going downhill. – Alex Dentith

‘Undulating’ I always query the true meaning of the word…. Wet,cold but pleased not to see any of the white stuff!
My 2nd time entering this event and even thou the start is congested it soon ‘thins’ out…I find it to be a well organised event even thou a little ‘lonely’ (not much support from the roadside…with the exception of Mr Lee Ross at the top of the mountain!)
I was pleased not to see a photographer on that hill this year! The marshals offer some words of encouragement especially the one who tells you ‘It’s all downhill from here…’ Even though my time was just a little slower than last year and I finished with a grimace, I was soon smiling as I limped back towards the car park…overhearing a young child to their parent: ‘Why do people dress up as dustbins….?’  – Steph Cox


This race had been my nemesis, failing to make the start line on my two previous attempts (Snow and injury prevented me starting) it was finally time to attempt it. I knew i’d get a PB as I’ve never run a 12km race before, so all to play for. Its mostly uphill for the first 5 and a half km, and having done Ilmington 7 times I thought I could cope. Apparently not – my legs felt dead about after about 4km – maybe i’d set off too fast? shortly after this point the race was interrupted by a heard of deer, leaping from the woodlands on one side of the road to the fields on the other. At least it took my mind off my legs. It was from about this point where people who had paced them selves better started to overtake me. I don’t think i passed anyone else for the rest of the race, but people were passing me with regularity. The second hill, though actually quite small, felt a lot worse than it was, coming just after the usual finish point of 10km.

A well organised race, with lots of free parking, chip timing and indoor registration, however, not a lot of support out on the course, but I don’t expect much at this time of year, and with a T-Shirt rather than a medal for completing. Would I enter it again – not sure – but definitely not because of the event itself, if i’ve only got a 1 in 3 chance of making it to the start line, I might take my chances elsewhere!!! – Russ Morey