Will run for cheese……apparently ! 

I run for cake, chocolate and wine most of the time. But this morning I ran for cheese, gorgeous, smelly, blue cheese to be precise.The posh stuff too, the stuff sold in Waitrose ‘don’t you know!’

Day 11 of my Ronhill #runeverydaychallenge and it’s going OK I guess. It feels like rather a lot of short (5km) and ineffective plods (10 min miles) to squeeze something in every day. Most training bibles I’m sure recommend less running, better thought through with clear training goals. Still, a challenge is a challenge so I’m sticking with it. Run everyday however it happens.

I just felt today that I didn’t need another plod, I needed 10km, I needed someone to run with and Ellie wasn’t free, I needed a change of scenery……I needed the annual Stilton Stumble.


Two mugs of the hubster’s Italian coffee, one pain au chocolate and one chocolate twist later ,a quick check on Facebook to see if you actually could enter on the day and it was off to dig out my HPP club vest and head off to Cropwell Bishop, a very desirable south Notts village only 15 mins away from me. I’ve never raced in such an impromptu manner, entering on the day, how spontaneous! Why not, I was running 10km anyway and with both HPP and Notts Women Runners in attendance I know I’m going to know someone when I get there. We all know by now that the best way to get my best efforts is the incentive of a number on my chest.

With a well signed field to park in, the village hall buzzing and no queue to fill in a form and pay my entry fee, all was easy peasy. I could have opted for a 24km…..now that’s a weird distance. It’s 14.9 miles, I wasn’t ready for that! Once signed in, no need to be a Billy no mates, as I guessed, there were familiar faces from the Notts ladies plus some ladies I recognise from the Facebook group…..so obviously the assumption is just that I know them! Some HPP die hards were there too. Richard (proud member of the 100 marathon club) stopped for a chat and Kelly, another LCA from Notts Women who only started running in April had a natter too. To think it took me 18months to enter anything after I first started!

The bloke with the quietest voice EVER gave the car park briefing. Not hearing much of what he said, I thought I’d just stick to what I know, follow the people in front and try and pass a few of them over the duration of the race. Don’t think I was supposed to hear anything else key, although I think I caught something along the lines of watch out for cars and don’t fall in a ditch !

Feeling tired from running every day including running to the gym for a weights session yesterday I thought a decent 55 minutes would be fine and would definitely be quicker than my planned solo plod. But the sun was shining, the respectable folk of Cropwell Bishop were cheering and two good HPP ladies I know were starting near me. Naturally therefore the pace might have been a bit ferocious at the start. Still I like to get a good start.

I passed the lovely John Oldfield from HPP, I reckon a vet 70, a marathon runner and who with his wife have just earned their 100 park run tee shirts too! He said ‘looking fast Justine’ OMG someone from HPP actually knew my name that doesn’t link to the Notts Women Facebook page where I am ‘socially active’ oo-er! Turns out as the club and park run photographer he recalls some of my more outrageous photo moments but it was nice to hear my name. He soon caught me and said he was planning about 49.20 ish time if I fancied it.

See it wasn’t the plan, finish line not finish time, Sunday training, enjoy the countryside on a beautiful morning. I didn’t actually fancy it, I knew it would be a relentless push, I knew I’d need nurofen later in the day…..but then again, there was a number on my chest, the other two HPP ladies hasn’t slowed and John’s old enough to be my dad. Of course I said ‘yes please’ ……having a pacer is so much easier.

The route is beautiful, through Colston Bassett and Long Clawson. Along lanes, passing pretty churches and beautiful houses. The sun was out, what’s not to like? It’s more or less flat! John thanked every marshall, what a gent. I couldn’t speak so feebly waved my hand at them. Another guy asked our pace and joined us when we said sub 50……. Well John said the words and I just grunted in a non aggressive ‘yes of course you can join us’ kind of way.

We hit 5km in 24.40…….I’m happy with that at park run and that’s when I know I haven’t got to do it again at the same pace!

The kilometres signs counted down along the route, novel way to do it. With 2km to go, John announced it was time to ‘dig deep’. I surpressed a need to ease back and pushed on. The village hall was a welcome sight as I rounded the bend back into Cropwell Bishop. A final push to the finish and I was in at 49.45, not quite a PB but bloody hell it was hard. John got a well deserved hug, what a gent.  I’m putting this event formally on my calendar next year, I loved it.

I caught my breath and while waiting for some of the other ladies and with results in, I came 11th out of 122 ladies and 8th vet lady overall. Very happy with that.

The best bit is that for once I got home with something that smelled worse than me after a race!

Categories: Ladies of a Certain Age Running (LCA), Race Reports

Tags: , , , , ,

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