Our first Striders cross county outing for 2018 started with a very rainy forecast! On arrival to Stanmer Park armed with coffee and cake the weather was being kind which pleased us all as we appeared to be the only club without a nice cosy tent.
Things got even better when the 4 members running from the Portslade Hedgehoppers asked to share our flag if they lent us space in their little tent. It may have been the tiniest tent there (even our flag was bigger) but it provided our bags shelter if the rain arrived we promised them cake as a thank you after the run.
Our team of 5 ladies set off at 1405hrs thankfully still in dry conditions. One thing became clear quite quickly never believe anything you are told by other runners whilst waiting in the toilet queue. ‘It’s only one long hill climb’ was obviously a little white lie as I started the second lap knowing what laid ahead, the same long hill climb!!!!
The relief of reaching the top again was short lived as we reached the downhill section to be told we would be turning right not left like the first lap and we faced another hill climb. I sulked a lot up this hill!! At the top it was all downhill, hooray my legs were moving again albeit carefully as this section was uneven ground covered in leaves disguising any tree roots etc.
As I approached the marshals on the final turn point out of the woods my run buddy had a nasty fall resulting in a twisted ankle. I stopped to assist but was soon told to get on and finish by her and the marshals. I left with a promise to return with assistance.
Finishing was a lovely experience a nice downhill followed by a flat section mingling in with all the men who had started at 1435hrs and were now approaching their second lap. Despite a few of our male runners dropping out before the race we managed to recruit 3 fast men.
As they approached their final lap Pete was in front followed closely by Steve and Alistair. Despite the gruelling course and the hills (they had an even bigger climb then the ladies) they all completed the race and were happy with the results .
Our lovely Ali who fell was given a lift back by a lovely Paramedic who had seen myself and Anita supporting her either side to get back to our little camp. Thankfully she is ok and with a bit of rest should be fighting fit in a few weeks.
This was a very well organised event with plenty of porta loos (always important), a cake stall and an easy system to register and collect your numbers. Our results were the ladies team 28th out of 38 and the men 26th out of 49 so a good start despite our team numbers.
I look forward to the next race at Lancing when hopefully we will have some extra team members and a nice cosy tent/shelter too!!!