Ashridge Boundary Run (16.5m Trail Race)
14th March

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Official Result

Sarah Wanden 2.42.15  
Jackie Popland 3.03.42 2nd LV60
Caroline Clark 3.27.06  
Jenny King 3.27.06  

Ashridge Boundary Run 16.5 mile trail race. 211 runners. Saturday March 14th

Another last minute entry race, really wanted to do this one but it was full so emailed the organisers and they'd had a few drop outs so managed to get a place, after mentioning it to Caroline Clark she too got a place for herself and Jenny King.  We set off for the Ashridge estate early in sunshine so had an idea it was going to be a pleasant day for it. As we approached you could see the terrain change, this was going to be a hilly bugger no mistake. After last weeks road race I thought it would make a nice change. 

The race started and finished at the Bridgewater monument. 

After collecting our numbers we faffed about for ages making wardrobe alterations, it was sunny but not as warm as we thought, layers were added and removed, discussions were had, jelly babies were eaten.

Soon we set off, the trail began deceptively flat, even a little downhill for the first mile or two, and then came the hills, constant and unforgiving they took no prisoners. The terrain changed often, from technical root infested woods to open fields with sharp winds and flint infested mud. It was often difficult to take in the stunning views as you had to watch your step most of the time. The first water station was at mile 6 but I was feeling good so didn't stop. At one point we dropped down into a deep valley and the views were just stunning. The marshals were friendly and supportive, some standing out in the middle of nowhere freezing!  At 11 miles I could see runners above me on the top of ivinghoe beacon, the ascent was extreme to say the least, I developed a shuffle strategy to get up the hills, I really didn't want to walk them but did give in to a couple. Once at the top the views were dramatic, it was so worth it. The marshal up there even offered to take my picture which I gratefully accepted! The descent was also quite hard on the knees, it's often easier to just lob yourself down a hill (as long as you don't trip...) 

I knew there were only four miles to go after the beacon and only one challenging hill so I settled happily into a steady plod. 

As I reached the finish I was handed a beanie and a bottle of water, home made cakes included an amazing lemon drizzle, cookies and flapjack, a nice cup of tea and lots of friendly faces were also provided free of charge.

I changed and waited for Caroline and Jenny to finish, it was great clapping them in, they looked like they really enjoyed it too!

All in all this race is fantastic, great views, perfectly organised and not too pricey, some of the money goes to charity, and it's on a Saturday...hmm leaves me a bit confused as to what to do with Sunday morning now...