This year's return home was a smaller family affair as only I ran from the Meagor's. I was joined by Chris Britton (of various previous challenges) for his first attempt at this course. Chris first words on arriving on the race morning were "it's a pretty flat course?" It seemed my mention of hills hadn't been digested! Chris was in for a bigger challenge than he anticipated!
At the start I was delighted to bump into a friend from my youth, Andy Platt, who was running the 10K. Andy and I were at the same youth group but haven't seen each other since the 90's. We wished each other well before the start at 10am. The race is always warm - but this was the coolest I'd known it (just 21C!) with some cloud cover. As ever, the first mile was fast and Chris and I sped round mile 1 - nice and flat - without any problems.
In fact we got through the first 6 miles in a good time, despite some climbing included. But you're climbing at mile 6 and Chris had moved ahead of me as we headed towards the village of Nunney and its historic castle. Mile 7 and a short steep climb out of the village and a brief walk - before a slightly flatter mile 8 which includes a section where you return along the same road and pass other runners - giving Chris and I a chance to cheer each other. Whilst it was the coolest I'd known the route, it was still warm as we gently roe into Whatley before a faster 1.5 miles into the valley before the 11 mile marker and worst climb of the event - Egford Hill.
Chris was now out of sight as I passed my brother John and his children, Tegan and Joseph at the foot of the hill - a nice bit of encouragement but I still walked part of it - I wasn't feeling the need for speed! The bonus is you get a nice mile downhill afterwards into the town centre before climbing up to the finish by the football ground. After last year seeing so many faces I knew there seemed to be a lot less on route this year - but I ran it over a minute faster. Chris was round in 1:36 and my time was 1:42:17. I also got to catch up with good friend Esther Doel afterwards, who was helping with T-shirt distribution. Chris has certainly found it a challenging course - and, like me, isn't a fan of running in warmer conditions! Despite this course being such a challenge I'll no doubt return again as it's my home town and I enjoy being on home turf.
Left - with some support team - John, Joseph, Lucas, Chris, Tegen and Josh
Right - with friend Esther
Below - Lucas & Chris with medals
With Kris after we’d finished with our finisher mugs
Just after the start in Frome - Chris on left(Number 134)