Severn Valley Trail Run is a Little Bit Hilly!


severn valley trail run

severn valley trail run

The Severn Valley Trail Run is the first race we have done since the epic MK Marathon. What can I say about the Severn Valley Trail Run (5k / 10k), it’s got some good hills, I like hills but this is a hard race, very challenging with a 400m hill at the end! It is a beautiful trail race that takes place at Severn Valley Country Park, I think it has only been running (sorry for the pun) for a few years. All proceeds from this event go back to the upkeep and maintenance of the park which is excellent.

This is the second year we have done this race, after finding out how hard it was last year some said never again but they came back for more pain. Taking part this year was myself (David) , Sarah (wifey), Les (Buff Daddy), Ian, Rachel, Vicki, Jane and Kristie. Myself, Sarah, Les, Ian and Rachel did the 10k last year and came back for more, this was the first time for Vicki and Kristie.

We have had a bit of a crazy summer in the UK this year with regard to the weather to date and race day at the Severn Valley Trail Run was no exception, it was a little hot. I couldn’t say how hot it was but according to my Garmin Fenix 2 running watch it got up to 28 degrees C but I think that is unlikely but it was a hot one.

The 10k which we were all doing started at 11:30am, the 5k at 10am. We got there early so we could watch and support the 5k runners, we also took the opportunity to show our runners the marvellous little 400m hill at the end of the race so they knew what they were letting themselves in for. I do believe there were some interesting comments as we walked down the hill.

Anyway back to the race, the 5k had finished, we had many toilet visits; whats that all about, we also had a little warm up. I also did my pre-race stretches which I had been given to complete by my physio Marcus at Paeon as I had a slight hamstring issue which wasn’t the best as I was about to take part in a hilly race.

We wished everyone well before the race which started at 11:30 with the sound of the horn or whatever it was. Sarah always likes a fast start to a race and she didn’t disappoint, she was off like a shot. It was a fast downhill start, Sarah is better at downhill running than me plus I was a little tentative with regards to my hamstring. I passed Sarah after about half a mile, wished her luck and the race was on.

Like I said Severn Valley Trail Run takes place in a beautiful park and we were running through open fields and woodlands, the scenery was just stunning on such a beautiful day. One of the things that we love about this race, there is so much variety, lots of twists and turns, crossing bridges, running down steps, up steep, steep, steep hills, challenging indeed.

I was running pretty well considering I had a slight injury but I was holding back, sensible me. Being the sensible soul I am did not actually run the whole race. Just after the water station at the 5k point there was a steep climb. You could walk this hill as quick as you could run it so I fast walked it to keep my energy for that last hill which was by far the worst. Some people ran it who were in front of me but they were not getting away from me. I did this again for one more hill but other than that I ran the whole race.

The lead lady and a few other guys were in my sights for the whole race, they ran every single hill which was impressive. In the second half of the race they had pulled away from me but I knew I would claw it back at the last hill which I did. I caught up with them at the bottom of the last hill, they were very tired through running all the hills but I had something left for the last hill and passed them.

I love hills, I really love hills but the last hill is super hard work running a 400m long hill is not easy, lets just say I was happy when I reached the top. As I reached the top how relieved was I and I could just enjoy the short run to the line, job done! I ran the 10k in 51.03, a few minutes down on last year. I came 15th overall and 8th in my age category, I was happy with that 🙂 For information the winner of the race did it in approximately 40mins, this shows how hard the race is.

Next in was Sarah (wifey), she ran an excellent race and unlike me she is hardcore, she ran more hills than me. Sarah finished in 54:22, 27th overall, 4th lady finisher, 2nd in her age group, winning a Go Outdoors voucher, I was a very proud husband. After Sarah finished, Ian was next and he came in under the hour, 59:48 which was 2mins quicker than last year. He had said before the start of the race he wanted to get this time and he did, excellent!

Something which myself and Sarah have always done as part of ChaseLife at races and which you don’t often see people do, we went back onto the course to bring our runners in, supporting them! This meant running down that final hill and yes that meant running up it again a few times. Next to finish was Kristie, it was her first time doing this 10k and I took it upon myself to run up the final hill with her. She totally smashed it although not sure she liked me pushing her to run the final hill hard but she gave it her all and was awesome. A few minutes behind Kristie was Les, Sarah’s dad. Les is one of the most consistent runners you will ever meet, he loves downhill running which there was plenty in this race and he was awesome as always.

Next in was Rachel with Jane and yes you guessed it I ran the hill with them. I suggested playing some music on my loudspeaker and threatened to sing which I know would make them get up the hill quick but there was no need for that. This was Jane’s first time doing this race but Rachel did it last year and knocked a massive 24mins off her time, giving her 1.24. Last but by no means least Sarah ran in with Vicki who was awesome as always, she always puts the work in and should be super proud of her run today, smashed it!

What can I say about the organisation of the race, it was excellent, the marshals were fab. The drinks station was brilliant, Sarah was excited they provided orange cordial, you don’t see that often. The support was excellent during the race by the spectators, especially on that last hill. Talking of supporters, a big thank you must go to Sue, Sarah’s mom (Les Wife) who is our top supporter, she is indeed a top, top mother in law.

So what did we do after the race finished, well we had a drink obviously, I had a shandy and Sarah had a celebratory gin for her prize 🙂 Thank you Rachel also for the amazing cakes which you made, maybe I shouldn’t have eaten 3 but it had to be done. Every runner today smashed it and I for one am super proud of each and every one of them.

The big question is would we do this race again, I think the answer is a big yes. We loved it, there is nothing like a beautiful race with a few hills thrown in. Maybe next year we will do the 5k and 10k, now that would be a challenge.

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