Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Trailblazer Clumber Park Review

Nice to Run Close to Home Though Ruined by a "Paula Radcliffe" Moment

Clumber Park Trailblazer Event Review by Jemma

It's always nice to do events when they're local. Alongside Dash of the Titan you couldn't get any more local to us than Clumber Park. I can get there in 43 minutes on my mountain bike along National Cycling Route 6 so it's pretty close though I'm pretty sure Liam could do it in well under 30 minutes.

The guys at Rat Race know how to put on a quality event so I was really looking forward to running in the heart of Sherwood Forest. I've done the Clumber Park Run before but was really looking forward to seeing what trails Clumber had in store for us having not done much running there previously.

With a warm race day with temperatures due to get into the mid twenties and blazing sunshine I opted for my Under Armour shorties and a vest top as it was far too warm to wear my trusty my Muddy Race T-shirt.  Along with my trusted Inov8 Trailrocs which I knew I'd need for some grip in the woods and possible wet ground from the sharp showers that we had the previous night.

Having learnt lessons from the sun at Bedgebury previously  I sun creamed up to the max so wouldn't get sunburn as it was a warmer day than Bedgebury at the start of June.

After running a 2 hr 17 minute half marathon at Bedgebury I opted to start in the "2:20 group knowing that Clumber is pretty rolling so beating my previous half marathon best would be pretty tough. At least this time I had my Garmin on to track my times.

As the race got underway I eased into the first few miles. A short distance into the race I noticed a man in a red top who was literally sprinting a short distance and then slowing down to a walk which seemed like a weird way to run a half marathon. I caught up with him after the first water station and eased him to find a steady pace to stick to. It turned out he normally runs 5km events so was taking a big jump up in distance which he seemed somewhat unprepared for. He steadied off and used me as a pacer for a number of miles before tailing off. Hopefully he had a good race by the finish

I was ticking off the miles in the glorious Clumber Park sunshine using a female runner in a bright yellow Sheffield vest as a marker before things started to unravel for me around the 10 mile mark. The easiest way to explain things is that I had a "Paula Radcliffe Moment" and needed to dart off course into the privacy of forest cover. Due to needing to pee drastically I had started to experience pain and discomfort in my lower back and stomach which was really slowing me down

After that I carried on slowly to get to finish line with a 2 hour 23 Min's finish. I was gutted I didn't get the better finish than Bedgebury I was hoping but I'll be back next year in search of a better time.

If you fancy a go in 2016 have a look at