We were back at the beautiful Ranscombe Nature Reserve which is very pretty in Spring-Autumn but I've always avoided it in the Winter months until now and even then I didn't really want to go because I knew how ghastly conditions would get underfoot. Heavy rain on top of chalk and clay over loose flints is a really bad combination for someone who has a tendency to trip over her own shadow!
At the race briefing on Saturday Traviss asked me how far I was going and I stoically replied "ultra" and he announced that I would earn a purple hoody (my favourite colour) for completing 2000 miles at their events. Ha, that changed as the day wore on.
Did I fall over? Yes, twice on lap 5 on Day 1 at which point I made the sensible decision to drop down to marathon distance so I walked the last lap in the amiable company of Kat whose dad is in the latter stages of dementia so we had a good old chin-wag as we slipped around in the mud like Bambi on ice. On Day 2 there was snow/rain and even deeper mud and no, I didn't go over marathon distance.
I'll let the photos, courtesy of a valiant fellow runner, do the talking as they give a reasonable idea of conditions underfoot. It was a struggle from start to finish.
|This puddle was useful for cleaning my trail shoes after I'd finished|
|This is the section where I fell - my legs literally went from under me and I landed on my right hip and shoulder. Ouch but no blood!|
|Ooooh look, another puddle to wade through!|
|The Darnley Mausoleum|
|The slope at the top of this photo was the most treacherous bit to negotiate. I found it very scary going down it.|
|This quagmire was approached from the bottom of the photo and what you can't see is how steep the descent was - oh my goodness that was slippery!|
|A nice flurry of snow joins the mud on Day 2|
|Walking poles were even more important on day 2 when the snow came!|
Please remind me never to enter a Winter event at Ranscombe again!!!