The Bradenham bolt 10k has always been one of those races I didn't pay much attention to because it's something on my doorstep … How wrong it was for me to go this year alone! It has been a great opportunity to explore the ancient beech and chalk flower meadows around the picturesque Bradenham Manor and West Wycombe Manor, which I consider my home turf.
The event is hosted by the National Trust and this year spent all the money raised to protect what has become the home of extremely rare and endangered butterflies in the UK. Ironically, I don't even like butterflies, but it sounds like a great reason, and I'm all for running the "miles that matter".
What makes this event unique among all similar cross-country skiing competitions is that you not only have to walk down muddy, slippery and steep trails, you also have to face various obstacles and get to the finish when zigzagging through the woods. There are three different hurdles of wood pieces that spice things up a bit in the woods and, most importantly, car tires and a large haystack are the final punishment for broken runners just before they cross the finish line. Being able to stay on track without drumming is an achievement in its own right, and no doubt you'll have to work hard to earn this medal.
The event was also open to canicross runners, so some very barking dogs were buzzing in the competition village. Three friends joined me in this challenge – Emma from my running club; my friend Brie and Lisa from my church running club. My nephew Simon came to support me too, taking Alex in a sling. It's been great having them participate in some of this year's competitions – I hope that as Alex is older, he will grow as much as me and Simon.
We were very lucky with the weather – after days of horror and rain, we finally woke up to a dry, albeit cloudy and cloudy morning. I felt pretty crushed the previous day, so I spent the whole Saturday resting and "resting" as far as mommy duty allowed … I wasn't sure how I would handle the race because I didn't. you feel particularly energized. Looking at the first big hill that awaited us right after we crossed the start line, I didn't fulfill much confidence either!
I started running with Lisa, but pulled away from her on the first hill as I started to feel much better and life started to rise again as the pulse started to rise. (Maybe I just needed a killer hill to shock my body again!) Immediately after the first hill I managed to catch up with Briega and pass. Emma was a little behind us all, wanting to make things easy before her next turn. I felt really strong and attacked the tracks and obstacles as hard as I could while moving at steep turns, four-legged racers, slippery chalk on steeper sections, and on that last, delicious hill with the finish line. on the horizon. Slightly more than half of the route went through the woods, after which we climbed again to the fields, offering fabulous views of the surrounding land. It was also an opportunity for spectators and supporters to spot the runners; Simon screamed at me for some encouragement as I sneaked past him about 2km before the finish. Seeing him and Alex gave my feet fresh energy, which came in handy on the aforementioned big mountain.
I was just proclaiming defeat on this mountain when I heard Brie screaming from the other side of this beast's hedge, encouraging me. I felt too embarrassed and gave up so I shifted my strength and accelerated my attention to the top. Here I noticed a group of horses measuring me curiously.
One smaller mountain later (which surprised me a bit), I reached the haystack barriers – without hesitation I threw them over. Then I literally flew across the finish line as Simon and Alex smiled at me on the side. One of the best finishes I've ever had in a race! I was rewarded with a nice wooden medal that Alex started to use as a dental toy right after he picked it up (to get Daddy one of the hot dogs in the food bus).
After cheering our friends on to the finish line and taking a photo together, we posed back home for a lovely fried lunch with my family. Overall, I loved the race and the random obstacles, the great support on the track and last but not least the scenery. My official time and positioning was sent to me after the event by Sports Systems & # 39; s supplier shortly after the event. One downside is that neither the full scoreboard nor this year's competition photos were published by the organizers on their website or on social media channels at the time of writing this article, more than a week after the event, so I use last year's photos to illustrate this blog post. So I have no idea what my 64 isth place finish means! It has been one of my strongest runs this year, so I should be happy with how far I've come since running back after giving birth, despite my actual finish position in the pack.
Do you like to do racing at home or do you prefer to go farther to explore new paths?
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