I planned to cycle from home (Upton St Leonards) to the race, in part to mimic the effort required for a triathlon, and also as a ‘challenge’. Not having run this race before, the stories of the 6 hills did little to change my mind although, given the amount of kit change I thought I required, I decided to take the e-bike and load up the panniers appropriately. Also I knew I could get home if the 12 mile bash left me with nothing in the tank. My journey there was a little fraught as my Garmin failed (operator error) and I ended up navigating whilst holding my i-phone in one very cold, gloveless hand.
Suffice to say, it was a very popular race which is a surprise as many runners had done it before and must have known that the ‘hills’ were seemingly vertical climbs, one of which needed a rope and others could have also benefitted from ropes. I walked every hill after the first, as they were impossible to run up, at least as far as I was concerned. Not sure I’ve met as many long steep hills (total climb 2,100ft over 11.7 miles), in one medium distance race. The finish was all downhill and into the centre of Dursley ( in front of the historic Market Hall building) with a funnel of spectators to run through, which was rather nice.
I fell in with a few triathletes on the way round and at the finish and was able to compare notes. All were very friendly and keen to hear about the 113 event in June with TTG. Needing to get home after tea and cake, I missed the awards ceremony, which was disappointing, as it turned out I had come first in my age category (65+), with a very disrespectful time of 2 hours 7 minutes. No finishers medals were awarded, but a nice appropriately sized T shirt was available. Overall, very well organised.
It’s a difficult race to recommend unless you want a real challenge and are happy to walk lots. There are no PBS to be had here!