Sunday, 20 May 2012

Denbies 10

Denbies Wine Estate
Today I fell back in love with running! After the high of the London marathon, getting back into the routine has been hard both physically and mentally.

Today everything seemed to click back into place, maybe is was being back in race conditions and somewhere new to run, but it worked.

The 10 mile race took place in the beautiful surroundings of the Denbies wine estate just outside of Dorking and set in the heart of the North Downs. I love running on the North Downs trails that are located not far from where I live, though this part I had never run on before so was looking forward to the challenge. Running the Downs is definitely challenging, the hills you see behind the building in the picture were part of the course so it's not one to go chase a PB on.

Team Twitter

I was meeting up with some fellow runners that I've got to know through Twitter and local races Steve and Kirsten, Steve was with girlfriend Jo whom normally runs, but today was our official photographer!

The race started promptly at 10am, and Steve was off to a flyer. Kirsten and myself set off at a more leisurely pace and straight away began to make our way uphill! The course leads out along a tarmac road and past the vast expanse of the vineyards.

The climb of about 450 ft over the first two miles certainly gets the heart rate up but once completed the views are spectacular as we joined the North Downs Way path. For the next couple of miles the course was undulating and the couple of miles after that some faster downhill running can be enjoyed.

View at mile 4
View at mile 7.7
But what has gone up and back down then goes back up again and at mile 6 probably the hardest part of the race kicks in. Upon reaching Landbarn farm there in front of you the next challenge awaits 350ft climb in just over a mile. Kirsten and myself had been slowly picking up the pace along the run and chatting happily but at this point I couldn't help myself to have ago at attacking this hill and picked up the pace. For the next mile I done well overtaking some runners and by this time some walking but the final stretch of the hill picked up it's gradient yet again and I found myself having to walk for a minute.

At this point the final 2 miles is the same 2 miles we run up at the start of the race meaning a fast downhill finish and back to the vineyard.

Nearly finished with my stash of gels!

I finished in a time of 1:33:56 with Kirsten not far behind and Steve finishing in an impressive time of 1:17. With 3 water stops on route (I trust it was water and not wine!!!) it was a chance to take a couple.....OK take hoard loads of the Power Bar gels from the stations (Thanks to Kirsten for holding on to a couple for me as my hands, pockets and belt were full of my stash!).

The Events to Live team, the team that put on the Spitfire 20 race I recently run, once again put on a great, well marshaled race. At the finish you receive a nice technical t-shirt and chocolate bar, but no medal which is my only disappointment. But overall great race, great company and my running mojo seems to be back.

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