Exe-rated runners!

Exe-rated runners!
The successful Harriers team, en masse, at the Erme Valley Relays, July 2013

Monday, 21 May 2012

Killer Crewkerne!

Sneeking a cheeky few hours off work on Sunday 20th May, I, Ellie Sutcliffe, drove the 15 miles down the A30 from my term-time Sherborne base to the small market town of Crewkerne to take part in the inaugural Crewkerne 10k.

With all the recent marathon and Dartmoor Discovery training, my speed has definitely suffered and I haven't raced over 10k distance since First Chance in January, so I figured it would be good to give the legs a good blast over a 6.2 mile course.

I knew there was a killer-hill to tackle at the start of the race as the race organisers - Crewkerne Running Club - had advertised a Sidmouth Festival 10k style 'King/Queen of the Hill' contest. This hill was only 500m long (half that of the Sid-Fest monster!) but it was brutally steep. I decided to go for it though and I duly reached the top as first woman and was crowned Queen of the Hill and awarded a bottle of Pinotage for my efforts! The only problem was that this initial burst left me absolutely gasping for breath and wheezing away with my sports asthma and this only 1/20th of the distance into the race! The other problem was that the rest of the course wasn't flat either!

The route took us on quiet country lanes through the villages of Merriott and Hinton St. George before returning to Crewkerne. With only 1 mile to go my watch was reading 33 minutes and I had hope that I could dip in under the 40 minute mark. But then, of course, that killer hill had to be tackled again in reverse and it totally finished me off. I puffed and gasped and wheezed my way up it, then let the hand brake off as I careered down the otherside to the finish line outside the town hall. I stopped the clock at 40:17: annoying to be outside the 40 mark but the course had almost 500ft of height gain and I was only 7 seconds slower than my First Chance 10k time on that pancake flat course in January, so not bad I guess.

I finished 1st female, by 3 clear minutes, and 11th overall out of 183 finishers. The race was won by the very talented athlete Adrian Marriott of Wells City Harriers, 2 clear minutes ahead of the rest of the field, in 33:07.

This race replaces the popular Crewkerne 9 mile. Not sure if it will be as popular as there are just so many 10ks out there now, but the route was nice, it was well organised and I think it will attract more runners next year. In the meantime, I seem to have garnered myself another course record, it being the first year, so I'll take that!

Crossing the finish line of the inaugural Crewkerne 10k. Knackered, but satisfied!

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