Race Review: NORTH 25 2021

Two races in two weeks. It almost feels like things are getting back to normal!

This weekend’s race was an actual, real, in-person race – my first since the Inverness Half Marathon in March 2020. This was a huge milestone as the lack of in-person races and parkruns has been one of the most frustrating things about the pandemic for me. I’ve been keeping myself going with virtual races and my daily run streak, but it’s just not been the same.

As such, I felt a type of happiness I had almost forgotten about when I walked into the race HQ and saw the crowd of runners and the tents and start area all set up:

Race crowd gathering
A very welcome sight!

It was so exciting to collect my number and line up on an actual start line again – even though we did have to stay distanced and set off in waves of six people! I did the race with my friend Claire, and it was a really pretty course. It was also a really hilly course – huge steep climbs through the woods! – and I really struggled in the second half, being unused to that kind of terrain. Fifteen miles through trail feels a lot further than fifteen miles on road, and I didn’t have any running left in my legs over the last few miles (mainly because my muscles were burning so hard from all the climbing!). As such, it was a fairly difficult race. If I sign up for anything similar in the future, I will need to do a lot more training on trails in order to get my legs used to it.

It felt like it was never going to end, but it did eventually, and it was amazing to be able to pick up a t-shirt and medal straight away at the finish area. Another great addition to the medal haul!

Medal haul
My brand new medal taking pride of place among my recent virtual ones. Looking forward to finishing the medal display soon.

Next up in the race season (so exciting to be having some semblance of a ‘season’ again!) is a nice flat road 10k in a couple of weeks’ time. I have a chance of getting up some speed (by my standards) on that one and I can’t wait!

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