On Sunday I took part in the Christmas Tree race, organised by the Forest of Dean AC. This is a 5.5 mile trail run through the forest beginning at the Ellwood football club. To say that it was muddy and hilly is an understatement. My friend Daniela, (top sport massage therapist), was there also, after having done a fell race up the Skirrid mountain only the day before.
Daniela is a top ladies runner with Griffithstown Harriers and I'm glad that she had done the fell race the day before as she is a quicker runner than me and this was maybe a chance for me to beat her to the finish line. Alas it wasn't to be. I did manage to stay ahead of her until I'd reached about ¾ of a mile before the finish line but, there was this very long hill, and I just didn't have the strength left in my legs to be able to run at any pace along its full length, so I resorted to power walking, (which probably wasn't that much slower than I could have run up it), but that gave Daniela the chance to catch and overtake me. She probably finished about 30 - 40 seconds ahead me.
The set up was good for this race. I think it cost me £8.00 to enter, race numbers were collected in the football club on the day, and then the club was open after the race for refreshments. Tea and coffee were free, as were the vast assortment of cakes on offer, although they were raising money for Parkinson's disease and so a voluntary contribution of £1.00 was requested, and £128.72 was raised for this worthwhile cause. This is a race that I will definitely look at running again next year.
Tuesday evening's club run was the Village Venture, a 5.5 mile route around Caerleon village taking in that dreaded hill known as Trinity View.
Many of us were dressed in festive garb, including myself in my Christmas pudding outfit. And it was a mild evening, so by the time I reached the top of Trinity View, I had to stop and cool off a bit. I could actually see the steam rising from my head and body.