Sunday 6 May 2012

Nonsuch 5k and Surrey Hills reccie part 2

On Thursday I headed down to Nonsuch Park in Cheam for the 15th Dave Clarke 5k.  The course is two small laps and one longer out and back section.  Maybe not the most exciting course in the world but it's flat and certainly fast.  The only thing to slow you down were a couple of tight corners that were a bit grimy after the somewhat inclement weather we've been having.

The pace at the start was quite brisk with a good number of runners bunched up together through the first lap.  However come the second lap many were feeling the affects of the initial pace and dropped back.  For once I was not one of those who set off too fast and lived to regret it.  As I passed halfway and started the final out and back section I was tenth and that is how it remained until I crossed the line in a new personal best of 19 minutes flat.  I think the recent increased in training and long hill runs must be paying dividends across all my running as I knocked about 30 seconds off my 5k time.  This said some people with Garmins were muttering that the course was a bit short so maybe my increase in pace is not so real.  Either way it was a nice race for a Thursday evening and I was pleased to cross the line ahead of a few faces I recognised from the cross country season who were quicker than me at the beginning of the year.

Saturday saw a slightly longer, muddier and less flat outing.  I got the train down to Dorking again to reccie the Surrey Hills Trail Challenge course.  This time I set out to cover the full course plus an extra 3.5 miles to take from the station to the start and back.  Navigation this time went a lot better aided by last months trip to the course.  The route was certainly damp; there were bogs, paths that had turned into streams, flooded fields; the lot.  Made it round the course in around 3 hours 10 which I was happy with as there were a few navigational pauses and wrong turns which hopefully won't happen on race day.  I'm really looking forward to the race now, the running around Leith Hill is as excellent as the hills are relentless.

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