Are you Bodenham Bound?

Setting off in the dark on Sunday morning was a bit of a torturous experience, however arriving at Bodenham Arboretum and seeing the beautiful hilly surroundings cheered things up. The Bodenham Bound 10k was my first race of 2019 and a great start to the year.  

There was a long queue for the sign-in desk but the race still managed to start on time (with a smoke-billowing canon as the starting gun!) The race had been organised by a local scouting group and there were many scouts out marshalling, supervised by their parents. There was a lovely atmosphere throughout, with lots of encouragement from the marshals and plenty of donuts at the end. 

The course went round the arboretum, covering wooded areas and open fields. There were several steep and muddy hills, with a lot of runners (myself included!!) resorting to walking rather than actually running. The uneven footing and occasional stampede of sheep made it hard to pay attention to the lovely scenery. I felt OK at the time but by the afternoon my legs were definitely worse for the wear.  I would still do it again, especially now I know where to expect the hills on the course – hopefully they won’t be as much of a challenge next time!

Julie Brown, Louise Morey, John Mitchell and Emilie Todd all completed the race with great times, in spite of the mud and the hills.  – Hetty Mosforth

Bodenham Bound – like a lot of good events I stumbled upon this one. After Winter Bumble Bimble I was looking for more trail events because I unexpectedly really really enjoy trail running! Bodenham Bound is held at Bodenham Arboretum near Kidderminster. It’s organised by the local Scout troop, is limited to 150 runners and raises money for Fight for Sight charity. Even though in its infancy, second year, I felt the organisation was smooth. Yes there was a time at registration when I thought we’d be lucky to start in time but I was wrong! All started at 9am.
The lady at the start laughed about the cannon used the previous year to mark the start of the race… apparently the smoke from it near killed the first few rows of runners! No worries this year, it was moved further down the path.

The race starts downhill in the main part of the arboretum which leads you into a false sense of this is going to be a quick race… oops before you know it the terrain changes to soft ground and uphill. It stays that way for what feels like the whole 5km loop (the event is 5 or 10km option) but my heart rate reflected that too! The uphills getting muddier, the pace settling and the views were lovely. The second loop we knew what to expect and decided it was as quick to walk the steeper inclines and catch your breath.
No change of getting lost as there are arrow signs and marshalling throughout. A few gates to get through but these were a welcomed break at times.
The reminder of finisher line donuts carried us through to the end! For an entry of £12 it was a great morning, perfect weather for trail running, well organised, a donut and a medal at the finish. Definitely recommend this race. – Louise Morey