Race Report by Casey Leaver
The two things that people said to me *after* we’d completed this race were “Ooh, that’s a toughie.” and “I bet it was beautiful.” In a nutshell, yes and yes.
It was a ten o’clock start and a small, but serious-looking, field. And, sure enough, everyone (even us) was well ahead of the four-hour cut off.
The race starts from the Wyre Forest Visitor’s Centre complete with plentiful toilets, a café and even a dog wash – although it is pay and display parking (a fiver for the whole day).
I was delighted with the total absence of toilet queues. But I had only brought £4 in change so was quite focussed on getting back before the parking ticket expired.
I was nervous because Simon has been a bit injured recently, and was recovering from a cold, so had assured me that he’d run with me. (Yikes!) I was apprehensive because I am not very fit at the moment, and, even when I am fit, I tend to apply ‘ultra rules’ and walk all the uphill sections.
The race started bang on time with a short, clear, briefing and, joy of joys, a downhill start.
The field was fast and as we reached the top of the first uphill (running) l I had to pull over to take layers off (standard). Surveying our position we were safely within the last ten or so. And the Tail Running Wyre Wizard was within sight.
At about a mile and a half I had to disappear off into the undergrowth briefly (seriously, I don’t know what is wrong with me, it doesn’t seem to matter how many times I go for a wee before we start!) and when I reappeared the Wizard had caught us up, so we put on a spurt to maintain some distance.
The profile was undulating and the course was winding and varied but the marshals and water/fuel stations were great and the course was well-marked. I
The trees were a patch work of vibrant autumn colours, the rocks and landscapes were fantastic, the weather could not have been better: crisp, blue, sunny and fresh. We even saw three deer running in formation quite near the race path. It’s a great Autumn race.
If you’d like to, you can see a 4-minute video (https://www.facebook.com/pulseeventsuk/videos/534751137081492/) of the course from a fellow runner.
We made it back up the hill to the finish (which was the same as the start) for a 3:06 finish and we weren’t last (hooray!). Gun time, no chips. Simon didn’t especially enjoy it – but I’m sure he would do if he ran it again at his own pace without me limping and whinging!
At the finish we got a Mars bar and a bottle of water each and a medal with a wizardy hat.
I’d love to do it again when I’m in better form – and I’d really recommend it to Masseys who like a challenging and beautiful off-road half.
The full results are here: http://www.racesplitter.com/races/FF28EE605