Race Three – the 16km.
This was a race that promised so much. Sun, sea, sand, trail, all of the things. And it did not fail to deliver, going by the reactions and the smiles of the finishers as they crossed the finish line.
Sadly. I wasn’t one of them today. A running ban imposed on me by my physio has rendered me benched for at least another few days (I displaced my c3 & 4 in my neck and had treatment this week). However, it did give me a unique opportunity to experience a race from the other side of the line, and what an experience it was.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people so happy to be running on a slightly colder than advertised Saturday morning in mid-December. And still be happy when they finished.
The race started from Foxlake HQ as has been typical throughout this series so far. After a brief warning at the start to expect slippy conditions underfoot the 142 participants made their way towards the CrossFit box, heading out to John Muir, before doubling back to the start/finish line. They then headed into the woods, hugging the stunning coastline before popping out onto the beach and blasting down towards Belhaven Bay. Thankfully, the tide was low and the bridge to nowhere provided an escape from the freezing cold water. Although for one unlucky runner her dog refused to venture over the bridge so it was a swim for them!
Heading back towards John Muir the route ventured into the forest weaving through the trees and fields before ducking through the woods and heading back to Foxlake. You would be hard pushed to find a more beautiful route than this on a morning like today.
The fastest male seemed to saunter over the line in 57:49:1 which is incredible running, and highlighted further by his near 2 minute lead over the second placed male. Ali Wyllie (who I officially met this morning) ran an incredible time of 1:07:18 to take first Female, a full 3 minutes in front of her next challenger who finished in 1:10:26.
There was another incredible finish from Chiara who took 7th female and is further cementing her rightful position in the Top 5 of overall female racers for the series so far.
Good finishes were achieved from all RaceFit/Warrior Fit folks today and had Paul not taken a tumble during the beach section he would’ve been firmly within the top section of finishers.
The calaber of runners within this field is impressive and as one participant commenting after finishing ‘it’s a young mans game’
Except, it’s not. Now I’m not an analytical expert and you’ll need to head over to Jamie’s blog for in depth statistics but it’s safe to say that it is definitely not a young man or woman’s game. In fact, in the Top 10 Males today only two were under 30. The average age of the top 10 Males was 35, the average age of Top 10 female runners was 37, and the average age of overall female runners was 39. This is definitely not a young persons game.
What it is though is a happy persons game, and every single person commented that it has been a stunning race today, challenging but beautiful. What more could you ask for?
Foxtrails have yet to make a mistake during this series, and we are half way though now, even the weather has played the game and each race has been a bigger success than the previous event.
At the turn of the year the Half Marathon awaits, and as much as I enjoyed supporting and spectating today, I can’t wait to get my trail shoes back on and take part in Race Four.