Warmley Forest Park 5k Race Review

The Warmley Forest Park 5k is described by race organisers as ‘a stunning off-road, multi-terrain course that will transverse over a mixture of woodland, scrub and open grassland with a small section of the route on the Bristol to Bath Railway path. There are a few small cheeky hills at Warmley Forest Park, a former extensive dry quarry. You will take in the beautiful ponds and Siston brook rushes alongside the Eastern boundary’. Phew!

About the race
When: –
Saturday 26 January 2019 @ 10.00am

Where: – Warmley Forest Park, London Road, Warmley, BS30 5JB

Cost: – £15.00 unaffiliated

Will I need trail shoes: – absolutely yes, especially is the weather has been particularly wet

Organisers website: – http://www.aspirerunningevents.co.uk

The site was once clay pits and a pipe works next to a railway line and a coal mine. If you look among the bushes you will easily find sections and fragments of glazed ceramic pipe of the sort once used for drains. The industry finished in the 1960s and the site became a refuse dump, which was filled and capped some 20 years later. The current landscape dates from then – http://www.localjourneys.org.uk

Race Aces

  • A lovely scenic 5k race which you can also sign up for the 10k which is a double loop
  • Very well organised race
  • The race also hosts a Canicross event which sets off slightly before the main event
  • Very friendly marshals, one young boy who was on the course was very motivational so thanks so much to you, you little star
  • Easy car parking just a short walking distance from the race start
  • The small amount of participants means there’s no crowding and you have plenty of space around the course
  • Free race photos

Race Unlaces

  • Not chip timed but is timed 
  • If you’re a beginner to trail running I wouldn’t recommend this unless you’ve got some great trail shoes and don’t mind the possibility of taking a tumble or two
  • Entertaining for spectators if you like dogs but otherwise not much on-site entertainment-wise to keep you occupied 

My Race Stats:
Time: 39:52 | Mile splits: 11:51, 13:18, 14:44

Total runners: 34 | Fastest Male: 21:49 | Fastest Female: 28:39 | Slowest: 43:24

Distances from Major Cities
London: 2hr 8min ~ 113 miles | Birmingham:  1hr 36min ~ 89 miles | Bristol: 20min ~ 5 miles | Cardiff: 52min ~ 45 miles | Exeter: 1hr 32min ~ 94 miles

Next event: 26 October 2019

Warmley Forest 5k | Canicross 5k + 10k trail run

Overall star rating:

Conclusion
Not for the faint-hearted, this race is a technical and muddy race where trail shoes would benefit you hugely. I would recommend to beginner runners if you’re looking to get into trail running but want to try out a shorter distance.

If you want to run with your pup this is also a great race to get involved in Canicross, just watch out that your dog may be able to run more easily across the mud and trail than you are!

Please note that the above opinions on the race are my own and based upon my own running skill level (I would consider myself to be an average runner) and while I’ve made every effort to ensure anything contained within this post is accurate, please check the race organiser’s website for full information.

If there’s any more information about the race that you’d like to add or ask, please leave a comment below

 

Warmley Forest 5k Race Review | Canicross 5k + 10k trail run

When a T-Rex Beats You to the Finish Line and Other Hilarious Runners

I think it’s safe to say if you’re a runner you either were, are or are going to be in the future one of these types of runners during a race and you know what, that’s absolutely fine.

I can put my hands up and admit that 80% of these are actually me or I’m very jealous of them and I want to be them (except for perhaps the last one!).

So put your feet up, grab a healthy snack and let’s all laugh along at ourselves and own each of our uniquenesses as runners no matter what our abilities or goals.

I wanna know in the comments which one you are or if I’ve missed any off that you can relate to.

The T-Rex (and other costumes)

Okay, let me tell you my beef with these runners in costumes. They give you the illusion that perhaps they’re not striving for a PB or that they’re just casual runners… and they aren’t at all!

They lure you into a false sense of ‘it’s fine I’ll beat the T-Rex at least’ and you go along your merry way and before you know it they’re off and leaving you in a trail of T-Rex dust.

Looks like I’m the one that’s extinct.

Then your loved ones at the finish line say ‘oh yes, you came in just after the man dressed as a giant banana’ that you just know is translated as ‘couldn’t you try harder to overtake or keep up with the banana’.

No, no I couldn’t because the banana is secretly some running pro who decided to join the same race as I did. Thanks though.

Honestly, how do these runners manage it?

I wholeheartedly commend people that run in any kind of costume, they must be the fittest ones on the course.

I’m an ‘I’ve been running for 4 minutes and I’m hotter than the sun’ sort of girl so how anyone can run in any sort of costume, especially ones that cover your entire body I just don’t know.

My ultimate goal will be one day being fit enough to run in a full costume and overhear someone say ‘you got overtaken by the girl dressed as a ________’ (fill in the blank).

Oh and also, I did get overtaken on the final stretch of a race by a T-Rex which is why I’ve picked this particular costume because, damn I’m still upset about it.

Paula Radcliffe, are you in there??

The Prancer

I’ve encountered so many of these runners that I’m starting to feel that I’ve been running all these years incorrectly (which may well be the case!).

They are usually females who somehow make it look like they are gliding along the floor like actual Bambi and as if it’s no effort to them at all.

Just… how??

Not only that, they’re usually the ones looking fresh as a daisy and perfect when they cross the finish line (and ahead of me I’ll add).

At the end of any race, from 5k to a half marathon, no one has ever said to me ‘you don’t even look like you’ve run at all’.

Think of the absolute opposite of this ‘oh Michelle you look like you’re going to be sick and fall over’ is more like it.

I need all of your tips and I need them immediately, thank you so much.

I’m Bambi and I look perfect even when I’m running. Ciao hun

The Vulture

Honestly, this is actually me 100%.

I am a terrible tailgater when it comes to running races, so much so that at one race, the guy who I’d been following for quite some time (at a very small country lane type race) turned around to me and said ‘it feels like I’ve got a vulture sat on my shoulder’.

Whoah there, stop with the compliments, you’re making me blush.

The reality of this was I was using him as some sort of pacer, that he never signed up to poor chap, and I didn’t have anything left in the tank to overtake but wished with all my heart that I could.

So, I apologise to literally anyone I’ve run any race with because I’m still guilty of this but I’m trying to break out of this habit and push myself to run just a little out of my comfort zone and overtake anyone I might encounter.

If you see me and I do this to you, feel free to make vulture noises right to my face, you have my full permission.

One of my better race photos

The Sprint Finisher

A controversial runner the Sprint Finisher I must say. Again, this is actually me and I was oblivious that this annoyed other runners until I got sworn at by another runner who I’d just overtaken to the finish line!

Let me put this into context for you, I had just run a particularly gruelling (in my opinion) 10k trail run.

The course was difficult, slippery, wet, I fell over a lot and I just wanted the whole thing to be over.

When I feel like I’ve had a more challenging race and I see that finish line, I’m much more likely to go into ‘sprint mode’ and at least push myself at the last 8 seconds of a race when I haven’t been able to the whole other 9.99k.

It gives me 8 seconds of achievement that I can bask in when I get that medal at the end. So sue me (or sprint too, just sayin’).

I am going to sprint to the finish line whether you like it or not. I can turn this 99% bad run into a strong finish!

The Photogenic One

I have multiple examples of photographic evidence that I am absolutely in my own world when I run and 100% oblivious to any photographers that may be on the course.

How the heck do you see these photographers?

How do you distinguish who are race photographers and who are spectators waiting to take photographs of their loved ones?

If you do spot them how long do you smile for?

When should you start to smile? I… just… don’t… know but some of you out there are doing it and you have beautiful photo memories of races throughout the years.

I have, photos I never want to show even to my pets.

At one of my first races of 2017, the organisers had provided free race photographs.

I can’t say I was particularly thrilled with this idea as I was pretty new to the whole race world and couldn’t think of anything worse than seeing myself running and looking a mess.

Anyway, I was secretly pleased that I didn’t actually see any photographers on the course and assumed there were none.

That was until the second lap when the two girls in front of me spontaneously jumped in the air together.

‘That’s strange’ I thought until I saw a photographer behind them and realised they were posing for the camera.

So I can proudly say that I have a race photograph of myself looking absolutely bewildered while two girls are jumping in unison ahead of me.

They look fun, I look like I’ve got lost somewhere along the way and stumbled upon a race by accident.

This category also harnesses the ‘Instagram One’ where their post-race selfies after marathons and such are more perfect than I’d ever take with 15 ring lights and half an hour of Facetune.

After the London Marathon last year, I watched peoples’ posts to Snapchat that had just finished the race.

There was a girl who’d finished the marathon in an amazing time and she looked absolutely perfect.

I’m talking immaculate mascara, not a hair out of place, eyebrows on fleek the lot, all while she had a silver blanket draped around her shoulders clutching her medal.

I can’t even tell you how envious I was, I look like an actual troll from under a bridge when I do a 5k!

I can only put it down to the fact that they are much better runners than I am which is why they aren’t a sweaty mess by the end.

Looking fresh after my ultra marathon

It’s the 80s Baby

Boom boxes may no longer be in vogue but wearing your smartphone on your arm and blaring out your music, what’s what all the cool kids do.

So put on your leg warmers and join along.

Rocky Theme Tune, let’s have some, Eye of The Tiger, risin’ up to the challenge of our rival and so on, for the duration of the distance and you have to listen to every single one of them (even though you didn’t ask for it).

Usually, these runners will be playing music like this when there is an Mp3 player ban or headphone ban but they’re typically on quiet country lanes where the tone of the race is ‘countryside musing, talking to nearby horses and cow spotting’ so it doesn’t really fit the atmosphere.

I love listening to music more than anyone when I’m running and I find it really daunting to run any distance longer than 10k without it but please don’t subject us to all of your favourite tunes.

They’re not EVERYONE’S favourite tunes and if you’re running at the same place, you better hope you can outrun them so you don’t have to listen to their playlist the whole time.

I’ve got love for you, if you were born in the 80s but not if you’re going to blast your music out loud like we’re still in them.

Little Miss Chatterbox

With more and more races banning mp3 devices, the Chatterbox is really coming in her (or his) own and I never realised that was me… until I ran a quaint little race and ended up chatting with a lovely lady.

And I talked and talked and talked until she managed to break away from me and have some time on her own no doubt.

I say I didn’t realise Little Miss Chatterbox was me because when I looked at the race photos later on, there I was, running alongside this stranger and she’s posing for the camera looking all lovely but I’m there (obviously I didn’t see the photographer) very noticeably chattering away to her using hand gestures and everything.

I’m very sorry lovely running lady, I ruined what would have been a nice race photo for you, perhaps you could just crop me out of it.

I do actually enjoy having a natter with a fellow runner during a race. I like finding out what other races they’re doing and other bits about them and what time they’re hoping to finish in.

But I also find there’s an awkward part once you’ve started chatting, wondering whether it’s rude if you try and get ahead or whether you should continue running the rest of the race alongside them no matter how much further you’ve got left to go.

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on race etiquette here as to what is acceptable ‘breakaway’ behaviour.

Seriously, stop talking to me I’m trying to get a PB

The Oversharer

One of the more rare runners is The Oversharer and I’ve only encountered it once before at a race.

These are the runners who shout out distresses they’re enduring of which there is nothing you can do to help them or assist them any advice you just have to ride it out with them, quite frankly terrified of the consequences.

My one and only example of this was on the last mile or so of a race, there was a lady who was running behind and alongside me for quite some time.

I was alerted to her presence because she was clearly in some sort of distress, but quite what I couldn’t work out as she was still running and keeping a good pace.

I myself was suffering from some knee pain as it was all downhill and aches that hadn’t been there the whole race suddenly showed themselves so I naturally assumed she was suffering from something similar.

We were getting very close to the final section of the race and she shouted to one of the marshalls ‘how much further is it’ which further cemented my theory that she was injured in some way and frantic as to its end.

Now, I’m not too sure how to put into words from what it was she was suffering so I’ll do so as delicately as I can.

At this point she was almost shouting out continuously which was quite distracting, however, it wasn’t as distracting as when she finally shouted out ‘I’m going to soil myself’ (the PG version of what she actually shouted out).

I’m not sure my reaction was the correct one, but I went into an absolute blind panic.

Not just for myself but for her also.

It was legitimately the only thing I could think about from that point onwards… knee pain, what knee pain.

If you’ve been running for some time you’ll most likely have been plagued by the runners trots or you’ll likely know someone who has and you’ll know, there is absolutely nothing you can do about this if it happens to you.

My first concern was, what do I do if that actually happens? Totally not her fault it happens I get it but she’s actually shared this information with me and many other runners around us and I feel obligated to help in some way.

Do I ignore her and continue running? Do I somehow offer some words of advice or encouragement? Do I share just how terrified I am that I might be witness to this?

Obviously, I did the first one because I’m certainly not the sort of person you want around when you’re in an awkward situation, I can offer you jokes and light humour but actual advice that you can apply to real life problems, nope not in this town.

Luckily for me, and even more luckily for her, she stayed clean and dry but girl get some Imodiums down you.

Nothing to see or hear or smell here

I hope you’ve enjoyed some of these hilarious types of runners at races and I also hope that if you are one of these yourself, you aren’t offended and we can all laugh at what unique creatures we all are.

Running brings out all sorts of different people from all different ages, backgrounds, fitness levels and that’s the one thing I just love about races more than anything.

We’re all there for the same thing, with the same goals (to finish the race) and I love how supportive people are of each other.

There’s nothing quite like it.

Pro runners will stop metres from the finish line to carry a fellow runner across, spectators and other runners who encourage others when they’re clearly struggling, people who will stop running to talk to and offer advice to people who are clearly in aid.

You’re all the best, running wouldn’t be the same without you.

race etiquette | annoying runners
running humor | hilarious runners
Hilarious runners that you should avoid during race day

Martock 10k Race Review

Hand on heart, the main reason I signed up for the Martock 10k was that quite a few people that I’m following on  Instagram had done it and I thought the medal was super cute, oh and it was described as ‘flat and fast’.

About the race
When: – 
Sunday, 17 June @ 10.00am

Where: – Martock Primary School, TA12 6EF

Cost: – £14.00 unaffiliated

Organisers website: – http://www.martock10k.com

Chip timing: – Yes, on race bib

MP3s allowed: – No, the entire route is on open public roads

Martock’s History from http://www.Martockonline.co.uk

Martock is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Meretoch. The precise origin of the name is
unknown. Interpretations of the Old English have included “rising bright from the shining sea”,
“a boundary by a lake”, “market oak” and “the settlement of Merti”. Martock has many fine
old buildings constructed of the local golden hamstone (quarried from nearby Ham Hill). Look
out for Grade I and Grade II listed buildings including the Market House, The Treasurer’s
House (a National Trust property) and the Parish Church.

In addition to farming, gloving became an important part of the local economy from the mid
17th century onwards. Entire families, including young children were often involved in the
production process. (For some fascinating insights into this and other aspects of the history
of the village, see Martock Local History Club’s website, www.martockhistory.co.uk.) With the
development of the Industrial estate off the B3165 Stapleton Road, modern employment
opportunities are now more varied.

Race Aces
They were right about it being a nice flat course, I managed to get my fastest 10k time ever!

Really lovely route with friendly marshalls.

Race Unlaces
There’s not much for spectators to do while waiting for the runners, it was a very small race (which I like).

My Race Stats:
Time: 54:59 | Pace: 8:52
Position: 186/395 | Gender position: 56/209

Total runners: 443 | Fastest Male: 35:31 | Fastest Female: 41:25 | Slowest Runner: 1:29:56

Check out the finish line YouTube video here (find me at 19:37 crossing the finish!)

Distances from Major Cities
London: 2hr 33min ~ 133 miles | Birmingham:  2hr 32min ~ 146 miles | Bristol: 1hr 13min ~ 41 miles | Cardiff: 1hr 40min ~ 96 miles | Exeter: 59min ~ 48 miles

Next event: Sunday 16 June 2019

Overall star rating:


Conclusion
Would I run it again? Yes, absolutely, I loved this race and the fact that I achieved a PB made that apple medal taste even sweeter.

The PB struggle is real

Please note that the above opinions on the race are my own and based upon my own running skill level (I would consider myself to be an average runner) and while I’ve made every effort to ensure anything contained within this post is accurate, please check the race organiser’s website for full information.

If there’s any more information about the race that you’d like to add or ask, please leave a comment below

RED January Trail Run, Canicross & Wind Days 21-27

This week I ran my first race of the year, realised that my calves hate me, wrapped up RED January at work with a plank challenge and hula hoop challenge and met some cute puppers along the way!

If you don’t know what Run Every Day January is, check out this post here which will give you information on how daily activity can help your mental health and how you too can raise awareness of the positive benefits to help others.

To read more of my blog posts for my RED January journey check out these posts below:

Day 21 >>> 2.5 miles >>> My calves hate me

I feel like I’ve been taking this challenge a little too easy by doing a mile minimum every day so I decided to ramp it up a bit (not too much I’m not crazy) and try for around 2 miles.

Today’s run was brutal too. It was pretty darn cold and the wind was almost unbearable. I tried to put my head down and run through it but I felt like I was running in custard. Which would be awful because I HATE custard!

I’ve realised some very important things about myself during this challenge (I’m going to share them all in my RED January summary next week) but here are a couple for now.

1. I’m actually scared of my own shadow. There’s one stretch of path I run along where there are lots of streetlights which gives me around 4 shadows and one of them is right behind me. EVERY TIME I run this section I have that couple of seconds of panic where I think my own shadow is someone about to grab me. I’ll never learn.

2. My calves hate me and I need to stretch more. During today’s run, my calves were absolute agony it’s a wonder I managed to run at all they were so tight! I had to stop about 3/4 a mile in and try and stretch them out but I felt like I was hobbling more than I was running.

3. I’m really proud that I’ve made it this far. While I am a very determined person and I am my biggest competition, I was sure there were going to be days that I actually couldn’t get out and run or I was sick or I felt I hadn’t eaten enough etc. I’ve shared in the previous RED January weeks how much of a procrastinator I am and while that has been an issue some days getting out of the door, I’ve gone (some days as late as 9pm) eventually!

It sort of makes me feel like I need to continue with this streak once the challenge is over because I’ve resigned myself to doing something every day no matter what and fit it into my daily routine.

Speaking of being a procrastinator, I am terrible at getting up for work on a morning especially in the winter. It’s cold it’s pitch black and my bed becomes 200% more comfortable after my alarm goes off (is this some kind of physics?). So after I got into bed I decided to look for an alarm app that was going to get me out of bed when my alarm went off.

I’ve used alarms that you have to solve maths problems and crosswords before they’ll turn off but my maths is terrible and I wake up grumpy enough! I found one called Barcode Alarm which works by scanning a barcode of something in your bathroom or kitchen and the only way to cease the alarm is to scan said barcode!

I chose a small bottle of shampoo in my bathroom cabinet to scan and it worked a treat! If you’ve got problems getting out of bed I’d highly recommend this!

Day 22 >>> 0.7 miles >>> No time

I had a hair appointment not long after work tonight so I came home (zero time for procrastination) got changed and went around the block. It was super cold though the temperatures have definitely taken a dip!

Day 23 >>> 1 mile >>> Bambi on Ice

The pavements had frozen in places on tonight’s run so I was trying to run light-footed and try not to slip over.

Something very curious has happened since I’ve been doing RED January. I’m constantly in fear that something is going to sabotage my ability to complete the challenge! My first worry right at the start was an injury so I knew I had to keep my mileage low because I hadn’t run consistently for a few months.

Since then I’ve had the following thoughts while running:-

“That dog just barked at me, what if he chases after me and bites my leg and I can’t run”

“What if I slip over or trip and I break my ankle and can’t run for months let along finish the challenge”

“That child is going to step out in front of me and I’m going to injure them and myself”

“What happens if I get sick. You’re always sick and it would only take the mildest of colds to put you out of action”

I’m clearly taking this challenge very seriously and don’t want to fail but I need to chill with the worrying!

Day 24 >>> 0.6 miles >>> Oh my knees

I’ve been very lucky so far that I’ve not suffered from too much of an injury this month. I have had some old flare-ups of some foot pain but it’s not unbearable and I can comfortably run. But today… you know when you don’t realise you have something until that something is giving you trouble.

Like your ears. You know you have ears but you probably rarely think much about them day to day. Then you have them pierced and all you can think about are your ears!

Well, I can tell you I definitely have knees and they were definitely telling me they were there every single step of the way! I’ve never experienced knee pain before and I think my not doing a proper warm up and cool down every day hasn’t helped.

I wasn’t feeling too good tonight, I felt very tired and like I was getting sick! I felt a little strange before I left work and felt hot with a scratchy throat. I came home and sat on my bed and before I knew it I was tucked up under my blanket freezing cold and feeling awful. By the time I’d had a snooze and dragged myself up it was gone 9pm. It’s never too late but let’s face it no great distance was going to be run tonight.

In sewing news, does anyone want to come and sew on the 14 buttons I’ve procrastinated sewing on?? I’ve got a race on Saturday and want to wear it for that so I have to add them all on by then!

Day 25 >>> 0.5 miles >>> RED January fundraising

We rounded up our final RED January fundraising day today with a hula hoop and plank challenge. While we didn’t get a huge uptake of willing participants we did have tons of fun and we made a little bit of money in the process for the charity Mind.

It turns out hula hooping is harder than planking! Our gold medal winners achieved a 5-minute plank and our hula hoop champion broke 33 seconds.

We thought it would be fun to let participants know the world records for both challenges just to inspire them but no one wanted to, or was capable of doing an 8-hour plank or a 70-hour hula hoop!

I did have two attempts at the plank challenge and not having done one for must be coming up to a year I was pleased with my 2 min 9 seconds time while listening to the Rocky theme tune!

Really short run tonight because I didn’t go out until 9.20pm! My knees felt much better today but I didn’t feel too well in myself.

Day 26 >>> 5k >>> Warmley Forest 5k Trail Run

I wasn’t really mentally prepared for this race today and I was concerned that I might fall over especially after they announced at the beginning that it was ‘technical’. Technical translates to me ‘you’re going to fall over’.

My favourite part about today’s race was the Canicross participants. We got to ‘awwwww’ over lots of cute puppers who were raring to go running in the mud!

On the short journey to the run, the weather was awful and bleak with rain. I had to contemplate the possibility this might be my first race ever in the rain! But sure enough, it cleared up and we stayed dry.

The dogs set off first on both the 5k and 10k and the main event went just after. The course was 90% on mud or grass and in places, the mud was very thick and very slippery, I’m so glad I had my trail shoes on (this is only their second outing).

I managed to stay upright the entire race which I was impressed with myself for but I did suffer with my calves which were on fire with all of the hills and mud running.

A couple of lovely people commented on my RED January T-shirt and asked if I had really run every day. I kind of wish that there was more on the back to promote Mind because that’s the whole reason behind it.

White button for race day!

Mum, being the pro race photographer she is, asked one of the Canicross finishers if she could take their picture with him wearing his medal…

The cutest finisher

Really lovely race, a great way to end RED January on the last weekend. Getting to see all of the dogs just made it all that much sweeter.

One of the young marshalls around the 4K mark was one of the kindest marshalls I’ve ever had at a race. He was so lovely and wished me a great rest of the race it really made me smile.

Day 27 >>> 1.42 miles >>> Wind sucks (or blows)

I felt great today! Considering I had a tough race for my legs yesterday I had tons of energy, my legs felt fine and I was enthusiastic. There were blue skies and it was cool but not too cold… except the wind. My enthusiasm was short-lived as step by step the wind stole all of my energy.

This wasn’t what I wanted for today, I wanted to try and do 2 miles but I feared that might feel like 9 miles running into the wind. Give me rain any day but wind, no thanks.

If you’re taking part in RED January too well done, we’ve come so far, only 4 more days left you’re doing amazing!

Belle's Running Blog (3)

My Best and Worst Races, Full Running Calendar and PBs of 2018

2018 huh, what a year! There have been highs, lows, horses, stunning scenery, mud, a lion, lots of falling over and even a few PBs! It hasn’t been the best year for me personally, and running had taken a bit of a backseat in comparison to last year. I had to say goodbye to my beautiful Labrador in the summer and, quite frankly, I didn’t have the enthusiasm or energy to run for months (I’m really keen to write a blog post all about losing a pet and things that really helped me, for anyone else who may be going through the same thing). Then I got sick and couldn’t run a couple of races towards the end of the year, which I was devastated about and didn’t take the decision not to run lightly (in 2 years I’ve never had a Did Not Start, I always turn up to a race). Then my final race of the year, the Watermore 10k, was a bit of a disaster…

I’m going to share my entire race calendar for 2018 (including the two I didn’t make the start line for) and include my favourites as well as my least favourites, followed by a cheeky look at my PBs and how much I’ve improved as a runner since 2017. Check out the further links next to any of the races I’ve done full reviews for or blog posts.

My Favourite Races of 2018

Martock 10k
What a lovely race the Martock 10k was! The honest reason I wanted to enter this race was, I saw on my Instagram that someone had run it last year and I thought the medal was so cute I had to have it (medal goals) and I managed a PB at this race.

Martock 10k

Minchinhampton 10k
If you’re looking for a lovely, village-style race, this is one you’d definitely enjoy. Read my full race review here or read more on my training journal here

Longleat 10k
Oh my gosh, the rain we had this day! (Fun fact, in the past 2 years I’ve done a total of 47 races and not once have I had to run in the rain, that’s not to say it hasn’t rained before and after). Because the weather was so awful, most people didn’t hang around afterwards but I wanted a picture all by myself with the Longleat Lion… I mean, obviously right! For a full race review on the Longleat 10k click here or to read my blogging week of the race ‘diary of an injured runner’, click here

Brecon Beacons Trail Race
The prettiest trail race I ever did do! The Brecon Beacons cemented my love of trail running, except I did spend a considerable amount of time stopping and taking photos because the views were stunning. I had a little bit of a disaster on the way because I’d accidentally set my Sat Nav to ‘avoid tolls’ which took me a hecking long way around Wales instead of directly over the bridge, not such a good start. The medal was also some pretty hefty bling which looked great amongst my medal collection.

Read more about the Brecon Beacons 10k Trail Challenge click here or to read my blogging week of the race ‘Need for Speed’ click here

Frenchay 10k
A really lovely village run with some serious hills and trail sections. It’s all fun and games isn’t it when you’re doing the first mile all nice and downhill, except you have to run back up that hill on the final stretch! Not feeling like Mo Farrah now are you Michelle… no you are not. Despite the hills, it didn’t put me off this race and the ‘medal’ was a cute mug which I have on my mantle.

My No-So Favourite Races of 2018

Hawkesbury Upton 5k
I certainly had some beef with this race for sure. It didn’t help that it was freeeeeeezing cold (in June) which didn’t put me in a happy running mood. I found this race very strangely put together, from the warm up to the fact that children and adults went off running together. I was very concerned that I was going to accidentally trip over or get tripped over by a child, in my opinion, they have very different styles of running to adults and many of them would weave all around the course which I found quite unnerving. I will say though, the kids that ran it were amazing runners, truly, and this tiny child who must have been around 6 was whooping my behind for sure!

Bath Skyline Trail Run
I had prepared myself to fall over during this race, I just had a feeling that it was going to be that kind of trail running. I’d already signed up for the 10k race but when I got there something was telling me to defer to the 5k instead (it was after all a 2 lap course, which I’m not that keen on anyway). Even though I ‘officially’ transferred to the 5k race, I ended up not having a time recorded on the website for some reason.

I will say, the views on this race are spectacular and that was the only thing that was keeping me upright the majority of the time. I fell over once in the wet, muddy, woodland section and the very nice runners in front of me asked if I was ok. I then stood up, took another few paces and went down again… they were probably wondering who the heck I was and if I’d ever actually run any sort of race before!

Read the full race review here or to read more about my falling over journey on my weekly blog post here

Slay the Dragon Trail Run
Again with the trail running, I’ve decided I’m going to stick to the trails I know in 2019 so I don’t end up in such a grump and gosh was I in a grump after this one (I think my face in my ‘post-race selfies’ proves this). We’d had some terribly cold and snowy weather the week before this race and the churned up mud was frozen solid and it was agony for me to run on. I was really concerned about twisting my ankle and ruining the rest of my race year!

Read my full race review here or to read my training blog post with more info on the Slay the Dragon 10k here

Concorde Canter 10k
Feeling nostalgic for Concorde, I signed up for the Concorde Canter. It promised to be a flat, unused airfield which in my mind means ‘very flat, you’re gonna get a PB’. How wrong I was! While it was relatively flat, the wind across this 2 lap course was unbelievable. Not only that, the weather was scorching hot. It was also, quite possibly, the most uninspiring and uninteresting course with long sections of airfield that you couldn’t even see the end of.

Even worse than this, I didn’t even get to see Concorde (except on the medal, which was quite cute).

My 2018 Race Calendar

January
Longleat 10k ~ 28th

February
Bath Skyline Trail Run ~ 11th
Slay the Dragon Trail Run ~ 25th

March
Minchinhampton 10k ~ 11th
Clock Change Challenge ~ 25th (read my race review here and blog about the race here)

April
Devizes Half Marathon ~ 8th
Frenchay 10k ~ 15th
Bridgwater Bolt 10k ~ 29th (read my blog about the race here) spoiler, I get a PB!

May
Brecon Beacons Trail Run ~ 5th
Glastonbury Round the Tor 10k ~ 6th (read my blog about the race here) – spoiler, it’s hot!
Bristol 10k ~ 13th (read my race review here and blog about the race here) – spoiler, I hate how busy this race is!
Caerphilly 10k ~ 20th

June
Chew Valley 10k ~ 10th
Hawkesbury Upton 5k ~ 16th
Martock 10k ~ 17th
Pretty Muddy ~ 30th

July
The Concorde Canter ~ 4th
Thornbury 10k ~ 12th

August
Cannock Chase ~ 5th (read my race review here and blog about the race here)

September
Oldbury 10mile run ~ 9th
Bristol Half Marathon ~ 23rd
Watermore 10k ~ 30th

2018 Personal Bests

2017
1k ~ 4:53
1 mile ~ 8:04
5k ~ 27:35
10k ~ 57:53
Half ~ 2:15:41

Total miles ran ~ 402

2018
1k ~ 4:50
1 mile ~ 7:59
5k ~ 27:03
10k ~ 56:33
Half ~ no record set

Total miles ran ~ 208 miles

Wow I ran half the amount of miles than I did in 2018 but I actually set PBs across each distance, with the exception of my half marathon (the Devizes half, read about this disasterous race – which does include a horse – here)

I hope you’ve all had a great running year, let’s smash our goals in 2019! I’m starting off January with RED January (Run Every Day January in partnership with the Mental Health Charity, Mind – read more here how you can get involved too) which I’m hoping will get me back into running as I’ve already signed up for 5 races and I want those PBs baby!