After arriving at our destination of Sunnyhurst woods with Rachel Cartwright and Paul Mcwhirter, on a very sunny Sunday morning you couldn’t help but admire the picturesque scenery, completed with beautiful woodland surroundings and even a slowly running stream completed the idyllic scene….. Well that should have been the case but after catching a glimpse of the vast array of hills that stood before us, my first thought was “why didn’t I do the Liverpool half!”
However meeting up with all the other WRC’ers (Stella Reynolds, Rebecca Sogbetun, Mike Kay, Sarah Watson, Kathryn Geering, Denise Zachariasz and of course the organizer Stuart Repon-Ness) – special Kudos to Diane Mercer who did the course dressed as a wolf! – who were also about to partake in this adventure made my spirits rise and shortly after the ‘banter’ was in full swing and the mobile phone cameras were doing overtime with us all taking in the atmosphere and making plans to meet in the pub just after the race.
From the start, we set off as a team and hit our first climb after hitting the summit of the first hill some of the team had shot off (I think Paul just wanted to get back to the pubJ), it was pretty evident by the kind of terrain that lay in front of us, narrow paths, mud tracks and to one side – what seemed certain death! (I did question whether or not a risk assessment had been made of this course!)
Having reached the top, Stella pointed out that the tiny tower in the distance was our goal to which my reaction could not be broadcast before the 9pm watershed! – suffice to say (quoting Rachel, the hills were certainly alive with the sound of John swearing!). Just before the 2km mark the heat was certainly on and all of us were stripping out of our base layers whist in motion! The course itself was approximately 10.5k (the nutters – sorry I mean half marathon runners got the pleasure of it twice) and consisted of hills, countryside, farm houses, hills, boggy fields, hills, some real tricky asset and descents, hills, mud – oh and more hills!
Once we had reached (what seemed like the top of the world) and many swear words later… Rachel, Stella, Rebecca, Sarah and I gathered for a group photo (considering that we were averaging 14/15 minute miles – we made the decision that this was not going to be a “PB” course and to enjoy the scenery!)
Just when we thought we had got past the ‘worst’ part, in the distance was an image that was reminiscent of the ‘help for hero’s logo’ – with silhouetted bodies in the distance making their weary way up even steeper hills towards the tower!
Rachel and I eventually got to our goal of the Darwin tower, took a few selfies taking in the spectacular views and started the decent back to the start (even passing the 10K maker!).
Once finished the 10k’ers all met up and finally managed to enjoy the drink that had been planned (what seemed) hours and certainly many calories before! – waiting for our ‘crazy’ half marathon team mates to come back.
The race was extremely well organised by WRC’s Stuart and we were all encouraged and supported by the Marshalls, which included WRC’s Claire Firth, Rodger Holding and Cathy Brownlow‘s family.
Would I do it again?….personally this is why I love this club, would I drive to Sunnyhurst woods and think to myself “I think I’ll run up to the that tiny tower on top of that massive hill” on my own…….no not a chance, but with the encouragement, support and banter from the WRC family…..definitely, bring it on J