Around 200 turned up for this popular 10k (approx) but very tough multi terrain event and it lived up to its name in that you could stumble on every inch of the run.
I registered on the night and the Stoubridge RC official who gave me my number said “I remember you. I ran loads of marathons with you in 1980/90 ish. Still doing them?”. We had a long chat and when I got home I checked and I did 53 in those 2 years so yes we did a lot together. Nice memories especially as they were all between 3.19 and 3.40.
The run started off in the hilly Mary Stevens Park then over playing fields and the hilly golf course but then the trouble started with a severe drag up a road to the fields.
Then it was just a series of farmers’ tracks (all just stones), footpaths in fields, woods, sandy trails and several long hills. In fact at one stage the paths were so narrow that the brambles and nettles attacked you from both sides-in my case causing a lot of surface bleeding on my arms. Then it was the swarms of flies that seem to come out annually on this event to meet, great and eat us and in my case act like vampires.
The final hill at c4.5 miles was on soft sand so “sand dune” training came to mind as we sank in more than we went forwards-or so it seemed. And this hill went on forever and beyond.
Despite its toughness, the scenery was beautiful as it was all on wood and field trails and at one point a marshal asked “is that a Massey vest?” I replied in the affirmative-“see you in the cross country events soon-you’ve been promoted haven’t you”. Nice touch but I think he meant he’d see Massey Runners there not me (unless he waits until dark!). So we need to beat Stourbridge RC in the XCs with me as Sweeper.
Finally after the sand we were back on the golf course again with 800 meters to go to the park and finish tunnel where we collected our T shirts.
I heard a couple of ladies asking why the T shirts had a Latin inscription on them. I explained and they fell over laughing.
It said “Stourbridge Arso Vertits Stumble. Say it slowly and work it out. No it’s not Latin nor a Black Country dialect but simple every day speech. Even my Spell Checker couldn’t get it!
Trouble was when I got to the car my T shirt was covered in blood from my messy arm. So it will get a wash before it’s been worn. Another 1st.
Dave Phillips 73 mins 27 secs.