Race Rundown: Chopwell Woods Christmas Trail 10 Mile, 22nd December 2019

The Sunday, pre Christmas, was an escape from the preparations for the big man’s visit and a new challenge to add to my trail running habit. I have no idea who thought it would be a good idea to try and run 10 miles through Chopwell woods, but the mad person in me wasn’t even put off with the prospect of 1000ft elevation. I love a challenge.

Four of us took up the challenge, Rosie, Fay and myself taking on the 10 mile and Aileen tackling the 4 mile.

Aileen was off first, after the kids’ Santa run, and looked amazing as she went by with a huge smile on her face. She was back on the trails after her Scottish marathon exploits. Looking at the photo as she crossed the line, she must have enjoyed it as always!

Then it was the 10 Milers! By this time, I was nervous and getting a bit cold as I had chosen short sleeves! We wished each other good luck and I took my traditional place at the back of the field! Oh boy what had I let myself in for? I quickly made friends with the tail runner, dressed as a Christmas tree, as the rest of the field raced off leaving me behind. Rookie error as all the slower runners had entered the 4 mile, not the 10!

To succeed in the trail I had already decided I would walk up the hills and enjoy the running down and so it began. The trails were muddy, but not slippery and wound their way through the woods. Gradually I caught up with other slower runners and began the toing and froing of run/walk, passing and being passed.

As the paths looped around the woods, I caught a glimpse of Rosie and Fay and cheerily waved. That would be the last I saw of them as they are much faster than me.

I was surprised how the 10 miles soon were eaten up and I was in sight of the finish………but the route took us away for another mile before I crossed the finish line where I was greeted by an enthusiastic Aileen. Being a slower runner, she always looks out for the ones who are on a personal challenge and happy to finish.

Trail running is not all about the time, it’s about ‘me’ time out in the countryside and woodlands, challenging your abilities and getting to the finish with a smile on your face and a great sense of achievement. So what if you end up walking some of it……especially the uphill bits, you do get there in the end. Take time to listen to your heart beating and admire the views as trails can take you to some amazing places. And Wild Deer Events, who organised this event, have some amazing trails over different distances from 5 mile to half marathon.

By Karen Killingley

Results: http://www.timingupnorthresults.co.uk/Results.aspx?CId=16576&RId=6015