Cheddar Half Marathon and Broadlands 10 Miler

A bit belated but here is a short report of two events I ran over the last month or so: the Keynsham 10 Miler and the Cheddar Gorge Half Marathon.

Keynsham 10 Miler (10 miles, 16.1 km)

This event was held on Sunday 22nd May in, you guessed it, Keynsham. The weather was fine although it had been raining the previous days which mean the largely undulating and off-road run was, muddy. Billed as a “multi-terrain” event the run took us down step and slippy hills (I clearly wore the wrong footware), over decrepit wooden styles, through long grass, up grueling inclines, and over foot-destroying loose stones; and then you do it again (its a two lap course). It was great. I must admit that due to a shoulder injury I picked up running trails in Salt Lake City my fitness has completely plummeted so this challenging off-road 10 miler took more out of me than I expected. Towards the 8 mile mark I was experiencing hamstring craps and at the end the pace slowed to a crawl. Despite all this I posted a respectable time and I will definitely be back again next year.

Cheddar Gorge Half Marathon (13.1 miles, 21.1km)

This was the second time I’d ran in Cheddar this year, the first was for the 10km event, and again the event was run to perfection. Tom and the team do an admirable job of ensuring the runners are registered quickly, drop their bags of easily, and are on the start line vaguely knowing where they are going. But the main actor in this event is the stunning scenery. Up on the top of Cheddar Gorge you get a great view of the surroundings and a glimpse of the pain to come. I started my Garmin on the walk to the start line this time and my watch read 528ft climbed, which is more than most complete marathons, and this was before the run itself!

Again the run was off-road, challenging, and “undulating”, but this time it was also cold, wet, and extremely muddy. Coupled with the lack of training this was probably my most challenging run this year. I took it easy on the first lap but with a 500ft climb in the middle, everything after that, whether it be flat, decline, or incline, gave my legs a bashing. A disappointing time (I was aiming for sub 2hrs and missed it) but a great day so overall a success. I’ll be back again in a few weeks to complete the Cheddar Gorge challenge and look forward to running many more Relish Running events next year.