Jelly legs and jaffa cakes - Trail Quest Spring Series 2017

Jelly legs and jaffa cakes - Trail Quest Spring Series 2017

By Ashleigh Naysmith

I am, what I would describe as, an unnatural runner. But, one with anaspiration to be a competent long(ish) distance trail runner. I don’t crave winning races or beating world records, I just want to have the fitness to run along stunning mountain tracks and exhilarating peninsulas. I want to be #alpinefit enough to run up any mountain and enjoy the view.

I have a long way to go.

After a few weeks of improvement in my running, I decided to sign up for my first Trail Quest (short). I have had a go at the MTB Trail Quest before which was equally fun!

These events are fantastically organised - the pre-race info is superb; there is nothing missed out, the signage is spot on and the staff are fantastic and totally on it. All that is left for you to worry about, is the actual running.

So, I rocked up at Bradfield Village Hall fully prepped with my minimum compulsory kit (water, phone, Gravitas, Filoment). I was relieved to find that, given it was 13C, they weren’t being strict on carrying emergency kit today (for the short race at least). I pottered over to the start of my course with 10 mins to spare. The atmosphere was relaxed with varying abilities taking part - there were those who were in it pretty seriously, limbering up at the sidelines, those who were prepping for longer events, those that were just there for a laugh and a Sunday morning out. Now, I certainly was not in it to win it - my aim was to get round without stopping in a respectable time. I have issues with pacing myself and tend to go too fast for myself and burn out.

9.35 and we we're off. I settle in behind a couple of runners who seem to be keeping a nice steady pace - faster runners quickly overtake. I remind myself; legs feel good now, pace yourself… I figure that if I can just follow the steady legs in front of me, that will do. [Retrospectively: Big Mistake].

I keep following the feet, thoughts running through my mind - ‘Ugh, my legs aren’t warming up as quickly as I hoped. Perhaps I shouldn’t have stayed up till midnight dancing to that Fleetwood Mac Tribute band. Just stick with the runners in front.

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