Today I conquered not one but two castles! The Two Castles 10km run to be precise!
This is a brilliant point-to-point 10km run that starts at Warwick Castle and finishes at Kenilworth Castle. It’s the third time I’ve run it – in 2012 (my first ever race!) I finished in a time of 1:05:40, then in 2013 I posted a slightly slower time of 1:06:03. I did enter it last year but had to pull out because I was injured – boo! This year I smashed it by finishing (by my watch) in 56:56! It’s not a 10km PB for me – that was 54:01 on the pancake flat Leicester’s Big 10K last month – but given this is a pretty “undulating” (aka HILLY!) route, I’m mighty happy with that!
The race starts at the awesome Warwick Castle – there is a brilliant atmosphere in the warm-up area and I love the juxtaposition of being surrounded both by ancient buildings and swarms of people in brightly coloured lycra! The cobbled path down to the start goes under an arch with a portcullis, and then once you’re past the start line the route wends its way through the historic town of Warwick and out in to the countryside, with more than a few rolling hills! It then winds through the village of Leek Wootton before entering the residential area of Kenilworth, where crowds in their hundreds are waiting to feed you jelly babies and cheer you along to the finish line in the lovely grounds of the ruins of Kenilworth Castle. Brilliant!
I did this race entirely on my own this time, which was a novelty! It’s a very popular race, and places usually sell out within hours of going on sale so all my other running buddies either didn’t get in or were doing races elsewhere – Ruth and Abi are doing a Wolf Run today, for example. Tom is working today, and my usual running partner-in-crime Becky is resting before her half-ironman next weekend – fair enough!! I did bump into a few fellow Arrow Valley parkrunners at the start though, which was really nice 🙂
I have to mention this lovely chap I met on the bus back to Warwick called Arthur. He’s in his 70s (but really didn’t look it!!) and runs with Kenilworth Runners. He just loves to run and stay active, and leads a running group on a Wednesday morning called ‘Arthur’s Allsorts’, which was set up for people – mostly parents with kids at playschool – who might not be able to join in the club’s evening run sessions – such an inspiration. I hope I’m still running in my 70s!! He was telling me he has run many, many races including lots of half marathons and one 20-miler, but hasn’t (yet) done a full marathon. He entered one in Berlin a few years ago but had to pull out when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Happily he’s now fighting fit again – but this has got me thinking even more about doing a marathon. I’ve downloaded a training plan so I’m going to start doing it next week and see how it goes….! Robin Hood Marathon in September…?!?!? Eeek!!
Anyway, that’s my event for June ticked off the list and I’m almost half way through my 1000 mile challenge!! I haven’t actually got anything booked in for July yet but I think I’m going to pop down to my mum’s in Kent next month and do the 10km Race for Life in Maidstone as my mum is doing the 5km one!