Monday, 10 June 2013

Trailblazer 10k Bedgebury Pinetum

Some time ago, in the spirit of support and encouragement, I persuaded my mum to sign up to tackle the Trailblazer 10k Bedgebury Pinetum with me. This is a picturesque trail run, something rather different to anything she’s done before and an incentive to keep active. I believe that 10k is manageable for most people; you don’t have to run fast.

This was a fairly relaxed event for me. I promised to stick with my mum all the way round at her pace which meant we were able to take in the surroundings and I wasn’t chasing a PB. I have plenty of other races in which to do that.

The following benefits were promised in return for the entry fee and the event certainly delivered.
Premium goody bag (see end of post) 
Free car parking
Special edition Tech Tee (very nice indeed)
Music, live mc, beer tent, food, drink and kids activities
Medal for all finishers
Free instant text timing after your run
Rat Race on-site gear store with bargains a-plenty (I did pick up a great running rucksack for a song)
Mum, me and my mate Anita who clocked a brilliant PB of 54 minutes! I'm inspired, awed and not at all jealous - honest...
The event cost £35 to enter as a solo runner and £30 for a family entry of two people with other pricing options available. There were 8 starting waves to choose from depending on your speed starting every 15 minutes from 11am which meant a leisurely start and no crowding in the start area. Car parking was well signposted and managed, and only a few moments stroll from race HQ.

It was a fine day and there was a lovely chilled out family atmosphere. Although there was a group warm up for each wave and music playing in the HQ area it wasn't quite as vibrant as some races have been, something my mum would have preferred to get her psyched up. There weren't loads of loos but we didn't have to queue; everything was run very smoothly. After our warm up we were guided to the start line, a good 5 minute walk from the HQ area. Our support team followed us (our dads) but otherwise spectators were only able to see us at the finish line. I've been reliably informed that the cafe near the start line did a fine lemon drizzle cake and the food station in HQ had excellent sausage sandwiches...

The last few hundred meters
I would describe the course as gently undulating. It was mostly on good firm pathways with some grassy, soft track as well. It started with a longish uphill section but then flattened out nicely. Kilometre markers ticked around quite quickly as did the water station at 3.5 and 7 kilometres where the course looped back on itself. A thoughtfully placed porta-loo was welcome! We ran no section twice, so saw plenty of the pinetum including some lovely ponds. The final section was partly uphill, over grass and through an unexpected avenue of conifers. 
Ice cream at the finish is becoming a tradition.
We were rewarded at the finish with a very smart medal and possibly the best goody bag I've ever had. There wasn't a leaflet, flier or voucher in sight, just lots of very useful and tasty treats.
  • Current issue of Runner's World magazine
  • Water bottle
  • bottle of water
  • Vitacoco
  • Arnica massage oil
  • Liquid iron supplement
  • Eat Natural bar
  • Teapigs tea bag
  • Lizzie's granola
  • Branberry cereal
  • Sunmaid raisins
  • Flaxseed
  • Faith in Nature shower gel
  • Bulldog moisturiser
  • Sudocrem sample
Not a flier in sight
Mum and I thoroughly enjoyed the race and I'd recommend it to anyone of any ability looking to try an off-road/trail  event for the first time. I think mum surprised herself with her result and I'm incredibly proud of her for doing it. We celebrated by spending the rest of the day sitting in the sun in the garden with some pinot grigio.

Here's to more happy runs!

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