The Tanners Hatch is a YHA hostel nestled into the Surrey Hills, I’ve stayed there in the past and have many fond memories of camping out and sitting around a fire. The house is exactly how I picture the three bears house in Goldilocks. So when designing the 2015 T-shirt I couldn’t resist allowing one of the three bears loose in the woods.
The weather was determining the balance as to whether the Bookham 10K would take place this year. Or indeed if i’d be marshalling (some marshals were snowed in and unable to get to Bookham). I turned up and Penny informed me i’d be able run and enjoyed the humdrum of smiles and chit chat in the race HQ (Polesden Lacey Infant school). The cakes looked and smelt amazing.
It was my first Events to Live race this morning. I was tentative in running with my very tight ball of muscle in my left calf (decided to be a mischief last weekend). Pushing those worries to the back of my mind, after all today was about having fun. Alan used his air horn and looked very excited to be able to use one (like a kid with on Christmas morning) and meandered down the hill turned right to the start line, I started towards the back of the field and after singing the national anthem we ran up the hill and the mud began.
The pathway for the first half a mile allows two runners side by side, so everyone slowed down (in hindsight I should have started further up at the start). The first climb gave me an opportunity to overtake lots of runners which is always a good boost. The calf at this point was niggling, I was ignoring it. There was a comical descent where people were grabbing trees, using one another to stay upright, it was super muddy and super slippery and great fun! It felt like being 10 and not having a care in the world. Although i’d probably have another point of view had I of landed on my head.
A long drag heading upwards I found myself running along the top of Ranmore we took a right turn and headed for the Tanners Hatch. I’ve run this section before with tired legs, but i've never with fresh legs, wow it was really fun, mud flailing everywhere and a controlled falling all the way to the bottom, I asked if the Marshals could catch me. I never saw one of the bears either.
Mud mud mud for another climb and a glance at my watch indicated a mile left. At this point the niggle had become a problem, so I used my right leg to run and the left just to get my right leg back in action. I finished strong and limping. I smiled the whole way around.
It was a good job the event was on. It was amazing.