One of the local clubs have a monthly trail 5k around a country park near Basildon, locally known as the Crown to Crown as it starts and end by a pub called The Crown. Normally held on a Wednesday night when the nights are lighter until September, it always kicks off on Good Friday. Good Friday was hubby birthday and I knew he would want to have a run on his birthday.
So after a lovely lay in we and a small group of friends made our way over to the country park. The last time I ran this event was 11 months ago before the injuries that seem to plight my way during 2016. I knew what time I completed it in and I was hoping that I would see an improvement.
Earlier in the week I tested my legs after the epic run at Ranscombe, I could feel the start of shin splints so I had rested for a few days after, scared that the full on pain and subsequent forced rest period would be the next stage.
The day was fairly mild, not as hot as the weekend before but it was still short sleeve weather. We congregated by Westley Heights Country Park a huge group from a variety of clubs all ready too run off the chocolate.
We pinned our bib numbers on and soon it was time to walk to the start, down the hill that we will have to run up at the end and then the race started. The first mile felt good and then the hills came into view. I was already aware that I was running more on my right leg to help the shin splints on my left, my right hamstring was making itself known but I ploughed on, I didn’t want to be last this year!
After a tricky uphill it was a downhill which I flew down, allowing gravity to do its bit. Around a few more corners and I knew we were close to the finish and that final uphill. Lo and behold there was that hill, I ran up halfway saw my running friends tried to run some more but walked until the top only to pick up the pace again to get to the finish.
I looked at my watch and was surprised to see about 8 minutes had been taken off my last time there, official results were not out but I was happy with that.
There are a few trail races taking part in Essex during the summer, I would highly recommend them, very friendly and although hard with the hills the soft under footing can help if you find running on pavements difficult or hard on your joints. If you can complete a 10k then I would recommend these guys.