I and a number of other Harriers took part in the Weald Challenge Trail Races on Sunday 12th June. Being that I was the first (and I think the only) lady Harrier to participate I have nominated myself to write the report. Many of you will have taken part in the Weald Challange before so I will keep it brief.
For those who don’t know, two distance options are offered, a half marathon and an ultra 50km option. Both routes start in the village of Chiddingly in East Sussex and follow the Wealdway and Vanguard Way footpaths. The Half Marathon turns around at BlackBoys whilst the 50km continues up to the Ashdown Forest and then back. The routes are mixed terrain with some short sections on the road but mostly on footpaths.
I had signed up for the 50km route, my first race of that distance. The route was absolutely stunning and everyone was super friendly. The route was really well sign posted and my worrying that I might make a number of navigation errors was happily in vain. In fact at times, it reminded me of a summer club run (albeit a very long one!) with a procession of runners snaking through wheat fields chatting away. This certainly helped me to reign in my early race eagerness and stopped me going off too fast. Unfortunately not long after Check Point 1 I got separated from a group and ran a lot of the next leg on my own which was a little dispiriting. Happily I picked up another group at Check Point 2 where more chatting ensued.
It was all going well until around 30km when my legs started to tire and my pace slowed considerably. Additionally I was beginning to struggle significantly with the heat and a lack of fuel. Eating was making me feel sick so I opted for lots of water and salt chews in the hope that would sustain me. My strategy worked until 42km when I felt so nauseous I thought I was going to be sick. I had to stop and walk for what seemed like an eternity but thankfully the worst of the nausea passed. It didn’t help that my brain kept telling me that if this was a marathon I’d be done by now! I managed to fight off the inner demons (and waves of nausea) and adopted a run walk strategy to get me to the finish. Super pleased I was able to complete it and also to scrape in under 6 hours (just)!
I would definitely recommend this race, great scenery, super friendly and really well organised.
Unfortunately the official results haven’t been published yet and I can’t search by club on the live results so I’ve tried to include everyone I recognise. My sincere apologies if I have missed anyone out.
|Lindy-Lee Folscher||4||F 40-49||4:23:18|
|David Barker||11||M 50-59||5:10:06|
|Sonja King||35||F 40-49||5:58:31|
|Jon Hodge||81||M 50-59||6:48:57|
|Guy Gracey||107||M 60-69||7:08:57|
|Aaron M Wilson||1||SM||1:27:40|
|Rob Jones||54||M 40-59||2:05:40|
|Clifford Gray||56||M 50-59||2:06:41|
|Duncan Ralph||110||M 50-59||2:25:28|
Well done to all that participated.