Written by Lindsay – One of our Tri & Run athletes
Tension and excitement filled the air last weekend as 6 runners and riders from the Tri and Run team were preparing for a frolic in the Forest. In pairs, the challenge was to run and navigate around a tough going course, collecting answers to clues along the way.
There was a handicap system in place, with each team being allocated a specific time to complete the 9 miles, including 450m of ascent, and collect the answers to the clues. The judges had clearly based these times on Red Rum, and we all quickly concluded that there was neigh-way we were going to make them, so we were just going to enjoy the trot out with our trusty companions and complete the course.
The level of preparation and planning was variable across the teams, most were saddled up and ready to ride, whilst Ben and Dave were still horsing around in the stable. The judges began to get concerned about the competitors safety as Hannah claimed she had never even heard of a map, Grace struggles to find her car in the car park, whilst my team mate Al thought he would install confidence in his navigational ability by telling me he once nearly navigated himself off a cliff edge!
Race day arrived, and following a substantial nose bag for breakfast and a successful weigh-in, Al and I happily trotted off on our trusty steads in what we hoped was the right direction.
Almost immediately the terrain went steeply uphill, which we later came to realise was going to become a bit of a theme, and I became increasingly worried about being with Al near cliff edges. Navigating around to find the answers to the clues gave a great focus to our run and distracted us from the gale force winds and driving rain. Some clues were straightforward, whilst others, like the footbridge sign, felt like we were looking for Sheargar. We also made sure that we took time to take in the beautiful surroundings and remind ourselves how lucky we are to live and run in such a beautiful place.
A couple of hours later, and significantly slower than Red Rum, we were safely back at the start with no siting of the other teams. Hannah and Grace were the dark horses in the challenge, so may already be home with a Sunday roast, whilst Ben and Dave could be well…….anywhere……
Following allegations of gene doping from one of the judges, a stewards enquiry ensued. I’m happy to say no evidence of horse play was found and Al and Linz were awarded the winners rosettes and the rest were sent off to the glue factory!
A huge thank you to our esteemed judges (Vicky and Lynda) for all their efforts to put on superb event. A fantastic day out was had by all, new running routes found and friendships formed.