In the middle of Savernake Forest is a tiny little primary school. It’s surrounded by fields and forests and seems straight out of a fairy-tale. However fairy-tales always need funding so this primary school set up a 10k race with a 3k as well…and runners across the county came to support it!
I decided to run both races – the 10k I’d run alone alongside about 14 members of my running club. Then my boys would arrive and we’d run the 3k together. I was excited about the route – Savernake Forest is always a joy to run in and this race would include a few privately owned sections of the forest which are not usually open to the public.
My running has dropped off enormously these last two weeks as I’ve tried to protect my Achilles so it could heal up. Therefore, I knew I wasn’t in race shape in any sense, so when I woke up in the morning just not in the mood to PUSH, I decided to simply run for joy and for fun. The pressure was going to be off entirely.
Parking was plentiful, free and easy in a field near the school. Number pick-up took seconds and then I wandered round, found the loos (actual loos in the school) and then found my running club friends. It was a beautiful sunny morning, a little hotter than ideal for racing but ideal for being outside having fun. And at 9.30, off we went.
The trails were gorgeous. Really gorgeous. The route was a very loose lollipop shape – we ran out to Grand Avenue, along Grand Avenue, turned left along another trail and then came to a water station where I stopped to drink. From there, we ran a 3.5m loop around the forest on luscious green single-track or shady service-road. It was delicious – the trails were gorgeous. I didn’t take photos during the race but this photo from a previous Savernake run sums up what the trails looked like. Green and beautiful.
We got back to the water-station at the end of the forest loop and then retraced our steps back to the school. My run had gone okay – it was quite an undulating course and I’d had to walk up one short, sharp hill but on the whole I’d really loved running along a little faster than usual but without killing myself. I was delighted to get back to the finish line in 57 minutes – that felt very decent for a trail 10k.
There were some really nice little medals for all finishers and then we hung round, getting our breath back. During the 10k, I’d decided not to run the 3k as my legs didn’t feel very ‘light’ but within 10 minutes, I was back on track. My boys arrived and got their numbers and then some friends from our own school arrived too. We all lined up to run the 3k – at least 3 members of the Marlborough Running Club were running the 3k with their kids too.
The 3k was carnage 🙂 Carnage in the best way of course. The first trail was deeply rutted and crowded with children running, walking, skipping and occasionally crying. I lost the Dude and the Husband immediately so just settled in behind one little girl until I could pass her. Soon enough there was space so I put my foot down a little and tried to catch them. I caught the Husband pretty easily (!) but the Dude, in his neon orange top, was visible a distance ahead and I knew I’d never catch him. He was running with his friend from school. Sure enough, as I got to the finish line (checking to see if the Husband was going to try to catch me), the Dude came to see me and remind me that he’d ‘crushed you, Mummy’. Then we sat down in the shade to hang out with friends and to eat burgers (the boys) and cake (me). It was a very pleasant day.
This was a lovely local race that I thoroughly enjoyed. The atmosphere was really friendly and really supportive of kids and adults alike. Both the 10k and 3k routes were beautiful and a pleasure to run. The little medal was really pretty. Both routes were very well sign-posted and marshaled (no chance to get lost even in dense forest) and it was just a lovely day. Definitely signing up to do this one next year!