Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Event Review : Lakeside Canal Run

Last Sunday I took part in the confusingly named Lakeside Canal Run in Frimley Green. If any of you follow the darts (no? You surprise me) then you will know that the world darts tournament was recently hosted at the Lakeside complex in Frimley Green. It was from here that the race started with the route being mostly along the Basingstoke Canal; hence the name.

I was given the heads up on this event by Debbie. As it was local, inexpensive, not too long a distance and had the promise of seeing friends I was easily swayed to enter. My regular parkrun used to be Frimley, which uses part of the canal path as it's route, and I've run with friends along other parts of the canal as well so I'm relatively familiar with the area. It was going to be rather fun.

The weather was drizzly as I drove the 25 minutes to Frimley. I was pleasantly surprised to find masses of parking a stones throw from the start line and a very efficient registration desk. I caught up with the lovely Helen from twitter and sheltered from the rain in my car a while. In an attempt to remain cheery I reasoned that at least I'd get a chance to test out the hood on my new running jacket.
Failing to remain cheery.
At a very civilised 10am we were off; firstly along roads and then through some woodland before reaching the canal path around about mile three. Although there were plenty of puddles and muddy bits there was also a lot of fairly hard packed ground, allowing me to maintain a pace I would have been happy with in a road race... that coaching is paying off! There were enough slippery sections to make me wonder if anyone had fallen in as I witnessed once at parkrun. I had a bit of a wobble at mile 6, probably more psychological than anything, being used to 10k races and all, but was still over taking people in the last two miles. Coming off the canal path and back onto roads in the last mile it really was downhill nearly all the way to the finish line. Happy, smiling, slightly muddy, I was cheered over the line by purple patch runners.
I don't look as muddy in this picture as I actually was.
What struck me was how lovely, friendly and local this event was. I'm not sure how many entrants there were but probably just a few hundred, the majority in club vests or showing affiliation to various social groups. The route was incredibly well marshaled and signposted with water at mile three, perhaps a little early in the course but welcome none the less. The goody bag was very acceptable too, with chocolate, sweets, shampoo and a couple of other bits and pieces. It was nice to get a medal, my first of the year, and a results print out was available as soon as we crossed the line. The only criticism I have is that there wasn't a tea or coffee van at the finish. I lost count of how many people voiced a craving for a hot drink after such a cold run.

I would absolutely enter this race again. It reminded me how lovely local events can be. The race calendar can seem a little empty in January so this was a fun way to keep in the swing of things. It was only £17 to enter in advance, which I think is very reasonable, I don't think twice about entering a 10k for that sort of money so it felt as though I got two bonus miles!
Hoodies aid recovery don't you know? As do home made energy bars.
Are there any local races near you in January? Have you earned your first medal of the year yet? If not, what will be your first event?


  1. Those drumstick gummies are SO tasty. Also cute jacket!

    I earned my first medal right at the start of Jan in the Great Winter Run, my next race is in March at Gartmorn 6 :)!

    1. I may donate the gummies to you :) And thanks, the jacket was a Xhristmas pressie - I've worn it so much already!

      Did I read about the Great Winter Run? I think I did. Bit of a gap until the next but it looks like a pretty one! (Looked it up).