I signed up to this event earlier in the year as its local, I’ve got an extra free day and a distance I’m yet to race over, so I figured why not? However, over the course of the Easter weekend I was questioning my judgement as the rain continued to fall. I got up eager to run, despite having put some miles in on the bike on the Saturday and Sunday, so was itching to get out whatever the weather.
The race HQ is based at Beaconsfield Rugby Club, which was fit to burst with around 500 runners turning up to run. The weather had at least improved to the point where it wasn’t raining, so my decision to wear shorts and short sleeves felt justified (and anyway, I had less clothes to get wet).
The predominately off-road course loops you around the picturesque, privately owned Barn Hall Estate in Beaconsfield – a short walk over the road from the Rugby Club. It’s clearly an event which is popular with club runners, with a proliferation of local running and triathlon clubs represented, as well as a good few unaffiliated and charity runners, like myself.
The route is a single lap which starts on the tarmacked estate road which then leads you off in to a good mix of mildly undulating fields, tracks and woodland. Off the start you descend in to fields and the conditions under foot were pretty good despite the rain, this and the tightly packed field meant the initial pace was pretty decent fast and I was running above my intended 7:30 pace. However, the leaders were way off in front even at this early stage. With the pack fairly bunched up at this point it was a case of finding a good line, with decent grip and committing to it. I have to say I ran the first mile or so dodging the worst of the mud and puddles, but quickly found myself getting jammed up behind people. So I decided that I could only get so wet and began to simply plough my though the puddles in order to overtake.
The course was well marshaled and miles markers nice and prominent, most of the marshals were great at pointing out potential hazards at the bends which helped in the tight muddy corners. Miles 2 and in to 3 we were running through Dripple Wood, which was probably the most unstable part of the course which slowed my pace a bit, particularly as I nearly took a tumble overtaking another runner around a tree. For the final mile and a half your back on trackways, which take you past an ornate building and back in view of the start / finish straight. Despite a slight incline up to the finish I pushed it hard and managed to make up a few more places before a full on sprint to the line to snatch one more place.
The result landed me 50th (20th in my Category) in a time 36:08, which I am hugely satisfied with based on the look of the field. A cracking event that was well organised (Kudos to Burnham Joggers) and makes the most of some of Buckinghamshire’s best countryside and at £14 it’s an absolute bargain. The medal is an image of the entrance gates to the Estate and is a welcome addition to a growing collection.
It is, however, not about the medals – I’m running for wishes and representing a Charity I love. Make-A-Wish grant magical wishes to enrich the lives of children with critical illnesses – it’s an amazing thing and something intangible that the NHS can’t provide these kids. A wish is something magical and unique, it’s the smile and joy on the recipients face, but its more than that – it’s a life time of happy memories for a whole family.
This year there isn’t a JustGiving page, I’d like you to support me by donating directly to the children that need a wish, children like Maddy who was diagnosed with metastatic Wilms’ tumour, wishes to see the Roman ruins in Pompeii! Donate here;