- The Tintern Trots. Chepstow Harriers evening race out of Tintern up to Offa's Dyke and back down again. It's an undulating 6 mile route with 1,200 feet of ascent - and a thoroughly bloody good race.
After a longish day at work I headed over the Bridge and prepared myself to race. Sitting at your computer all day drinking copious amounts of strong black coffee isn't exactly the best way to prepare but apart from feeling a little dehydrated I was ready to give it a crack.
I set off at the front and led the race out for the first kilometre - what a nobber. I didn't have a hope in hell of remaining at the front but f$^% it, what a buzz to lead things - even if only for the briefest of moments...
As expected, I was soon swallowed up by the pack but I kept my composure and ran with the flow. The main climb went OK. I kept things steady and chugged my way to the top. My favourite part of the TT is the mile along the Dyke itself. The twisty, meandering, undulating section suits my style of running and I was able to make inroads on a couple of runners. Never quite managing to close the gap completely, I got close.
Then it was the sharp descent down out of the woods and across the meadow to the gently rising track back towards Tintern before reaching the old railway bed and finish at the Bridge Over The River Wye - although I didn't see Alec Guinness or Jack Hawkins.
I finished in a time of 42:55 which I think compares favourably to my PB of 46:47 set in 2006 on the slightly longer course as it was back then. From comparison of various times from 2009 and 2010, on the old and new course, it looks like an offset of just over three minutes, so that puts my run this year in the 'one minute quicker' territory - but it ain't a precise science. Still, my finish position of 14th from a field of 152 is my highest finishing position ever (and that's from the largest field I've run in as well) so that has to be good.
I could feel the groin at the finish but it didn't hold me back. Just wish it would settle. All in all I feel very satisfied with tonight performance.
And finally, well down to all the marshalls and supporters. I always feel a tinge of guilt for running one of my clubs races. Always feel I should be helping instead of racing. Sorry guys :-(
The Tintern Trot:-