Longleat 10K –
9 February 2014
Archibold reports from a hilly race.
not seem like such a great idea when I woke up at 6am, it was raining
outside and the wind was blowing a gale.
seemed even less of a good idea when I parked up in the Longleat car
park, took a look at the hills and then saw the hail come in and the
temperature hit 3 degrees.
10am those thoughts did disappear - well until the hill at 1K that was.
This race is run around the grounds of Longleat, and even included an
appearance from Lord Bath cheering runners through the top gate at 3K.
It is a
fantastic 10K race that redefines hills. There is maybe a total of 1K
throughout the race that is flat, and when the course instructions
decided against ‘undulating’ and picked ‘hilly’ they were not kidding.
first K took you down a long road directly in front of the house, before
you looped round to do a K uphill with the wind blowing in your face.
Then you undulated for the third K before coming back down onto the
road with perfect views of the house, estate and river. Second time
around was much better as there were less people cramming for places,
and with the sun coming out you could actually enjoy the sights.
was just a gentle incline before 6K decided it was a good idea to go
vertical once again. But with every up there is a down, and this
happened up to 7K. Then a small downhill through the woods and in front
of the safari park, and you could actually see the end, but with 2K to
go it was made tough with a downhill to 9K and the last K all uphill
with the wind in your face.
was without a doubt the hardest 10K I have ever done and is certainly
not a run for a PB. But if you want a challenging route, concentrate on
hill work, and take in the magnificent views of Longleat this is right
up your street.
good to note that your entry fee also gives free entry to the Gardens
and the House, and reduced price to the Safari Park. Marshalling was
very good, though the start and finish were badly organised. There were
timing chips, and I found out at the end it is part of the Wiltshire
impressed to come in with a respectable time of 1 hour 1 minute and 37
seconds, and Fiona Kasey came home in 1 hour 20 minutes and 48 seconds.