Mud, puddles more mud and a whole lot smiles. One rather big hill and a couple of small ones thrown in for good measure. The debut of Advent Running's Adidas Trail Team and my first taste of a trail race. Trailscape North, the first in four races that offer trail races for inner city folks and those that love the mud! A huge well done to founders of Advent Running, Claudia and James who secured first place in both the men and women's marathons!
A few weekends ago I headed down, with Jen, to the Newport in Essex. The day before the race organisers had posted a rather lovely image of a HUGE puddle covering one of the paths. This was going to be a lot of fun.
My sock choice was an interesting one. White socks for my first trail race occasion. One of my aims for this race was to see how white I could keep my socks for. It lasted 5 miles before the whole path was covered by a huge puddle. Rather than gracefully edging my way around the puddle, I jumped straight into it. Socks swiftly turned colour and had very squelchy feet for the rest of the race. Was it worth it? Most definitely. The rest of the race was a lot of fun with lovely views running across wide open fields and through wooded land. Thick mud was also a great opportunity to try out my trail shoes, Salomon Speedcross 3. They were comfortable and I didn't have any problems with them rubbing. This was the second time I'd worn these shoes - not the best idea as breaking the no new kit for a race rule! They have quite a deep trend so picked up quite a bit a mud - this was my one issue with them. However, even with the deep tread they worked well on both the uneven ground as well as the short sections that were on the road. The route was very well signed posted and GPX routes are available for you race - great if you live in the area and fancy doing a course recce.
One of the other good things about these races are that you are able to jump down the distance on the day. If you're not feeling the full marathon, then you are able to drop down and do the half course. Likewise it works the same for the half marathon, take the 10k turn off it the full distance isn't to your liking on the day. On the day a group of canine runners joined us for the adventure. This group were set off last to allow runners to get a bit of room before they began. For my first trail race experience, it was pretty awesome. The organisation was fantastic and the location extremely easy to find.
Check out Trailscape - Twitter, Instagram, Website
If you can't run the races yourself head down and support, or even volunteer if you can. The next race in the series is in Cuxton, Kent on 5th December.
Other race dates in the series:
South: Ashurst, East Sussex - 23.01.16
West: Wendover, Buckinghamshire - 05.03.16
*I was very kindly given the opportunity to race by the race organisers.