8:15am on Saturday 3rd November and once again I am in the car with K-Theory on my way to another run.
My trail running season officially kicked off this weekend with the Muddy Mo 10K in Swinley Forest. The event, co-organised by the Movember running people (some French bloke who was at the event – nice chap), was a relatively small scale operation with a 300 runner cap which kept the atmosphere friendly.
The run took us around 6 miles of Swinley forest. Being called ‘The Muddy Mo’ we were promised some mud and it didn’t disappoint. There were three sections of increasing muddiness. The first was just after the 3K mark and involved a slog through some ankle deep mud then a strength sapping, hamstring burning half K up a soft muddy slope. I cannot quite remember mud pit no.2 but I have a distinct memory of a girl thigh deep in mud being hauled out by a friend, I also remember saying to DB (who ran it with me) around the 7K mark that the event website had mentioned three and I had only counted two at that point.
Mud pit no.3 snuck up on us just after the 9K marker, where we were diverted off of the large hard packed forest path, down a break in the trees and straight into a small pond where we were forced to wade through three feet of muddy water, fine if you are 6’2, less so if you are somewhat shorter. Despite being cold, muddy and waterlogged from the waist down, DB and myself managed to power up the final hill and sprint finish for the last 100 meters.
My goal was to complete my first trail 10K in less than an hour. A battery malfunction on the road put my Garmin out of commission which meant DB and myself ran the event on instinct. Despite this, the energy sapping mud, some hills that would just not end we managed to get around in 59.35. All in all, an awesome day. I came away feeling positive and with my knee niggle turning out to be a stiff hamstring and a satisfactory end to a challenging run, I feel confident that my running is back on track.
Next event is the Wildman at the end of the month. Between then I’ve got some serious hill running to do in Richmond Park and I need to plan a few ‘trail’ runs to break in my new trail shoes.