Wimborne Athletic Club

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‘Over the Hills 12k’  – 13 November 

Muddy madness from Bradford-on-Avon. Kim Brackley reports.

This race came through from Runners World and of course once I’d seen the words ‘mud’ and ‘river’ thought this has to be done. For a November day it was incredibly sunny and warm and conditions were almost perfect. We got to the car park by the station in plenty of time to get a space (unfortunately I don’t think all runners were that lucky) and had time to warm up and take in the very scenic surroundings.

The race started by the river Avon along the riverside walk then up to the canal path before going through a kissing gate which was one of about eight en route and did give you a chance to catch your breath as runners filtered through. It was then the fun started as we had to run along muddy paths which were really slippery. The course went over fields, up some hills and through woodland some of which was quite difficult to negotiate especially when running downhill on the narrow paths that were covered with wet leaves.

There was a couple of stiles to climb over or, for the very athletic show offs, to vault over. We did one road crossing and were hardly on tarmac at all before it was back into woodland and across more muddy fields. The hills weren’t that bad and were quite do-able the hard work was trying to speed up when your trainers were sticking or slipping around in the mud. Halfway round I was getting incredibly hot and was pleased to reach the river crossing which wasn’t too deep (about knee height). The children watching were screaming with laughter at silly grown ups (that were old enough to know better) wading across a river!!

After that it was another field, a few more gates, and we were back on the canal path heading towards the finish. This is definitely not a PB race but the scenery was lovely, the course was challenging and the atmosphere very light -hearted. There was no goody bag as it was in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society and organised by Avon Valley Runners but they had plenty of homemade cakes, tea and coffee on offer afterwards so we didn’t get light-headed on the journey home. Would definitely do this one again but maybe next time have trail shoes on!! My time was 1 hour 9 minutes.

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