Monday, 21 December 2015

Event Review : Muddy Welly

It's been a whole since I wrote a race review, because it's been a while since I did a race! It's been most odd, after doing so many earlier in the year. I wasn't sure that I would be doing any more events this year but with the start line less than a mile and a half from my front door, friends taking part, the promise of mulled wine and mince pies at the end and a lovely course, I couldn't resist and signed up just a week before the day.

The Muddy Welly 5k & 10k races took place at Wellington College in Crowthorne but didn't really contain enough mud to fully live up to it's name. Starting at a very civilised 10am, I had plenty of time to eat some apple and mince pie nut butter porridge, watch the Strictly final, jog to the college, collect my race number *and* chat to people before the start of the race.
There was a good turn out, although I'm not sure how many entrants there were, and a good split between the two distances. The start line also happened to be the finish line where the mulled wine and mince pies were already on display; an incentive to get round quickly if ever there was one! The course was a 5k loop around the grounds; slightly different from the summer event held at the college and in the opposite direction, with more off road sections, which I prefer. It really was an absolute joy to run.

It was another unseasonably warm December day but dry with a light breeze so good conditions. The course undulated through the grounds, past ponds and a golf course. It wasn't a winding course, particularly, but there wasn't a hope of going wrong with a liberal application of red spray paint, yellow arrow signs, red and white tape and plenty of marshals. The only negative comments I have are that it was a narrow start so hard to set a good pace, and there was a bottleneck a couple of kilometres into the first lap, but it didn't seem to slow us down too much given that everyone I spoke to afterwards did much better than they'd expected. The water station at kilometre 3 (and 8) could have done with a second person there to help out. There were no cups poured when I passed on the first lap and no more than half a dozen on my second. Not a big problem at this time of year but one of the very few areas for improvement.

Not much in the way of seasonal attire in this race, although I was happy to be away from those wearing jingle bells quite quickly! There was a bit of chat on the way around, spectators cheering in the areas closer to the college, and just a really good vibe about the whole thing.

I managed to over take a few people in the last kilometre and had a strong finish in a time much better than expected. I didn't bother to get my official time from the machine but was very happy with what my Garmin said. As soon as I crossed the one I was presented with my medal and able to refuel with mince pies, mulled wine and bottled water. There was still quite a buzz of people about the place and cheers for those crossing the line. All in all a very friendly race.
The 10k cost £18 in advance. This included chip timing, a lovely medal and time tab for the back, as much mulled wine and as many mince pies as you cared for and free bag drop. I would certainly do this again in another year. In fact, I think I'm looking forward to it already.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great race. Any race that dishes out unlimited amounts of mulled wine at the finish is going to be a winner in my books though! ;)