I can see the flag

An entry level runner on an entry level bike…

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The Chuffin’Huff

Facebook’s a right bugger, innit? It’s so easy to find things you didn’t know you were looking for, and then share them with your unsuspecting, but suggestible friends. 

“Lookit this!” I messaged JB one evening, back when we were riding the crest of the running wave, having survived the Grizzly. “What a good idea”, she messaged back, followed with “I’ve done us an entry”. 😲

The Clyst Hydon Huff is a local run for us, 10 miles away as the crow flies, so we could just ride there, run and ride home, neatly ticking all the training boxes. It’s only a 10k, sure there are some hills, but we’re Devon lasses and hills are our… “fuckin’hell JB, have you seen the hill profile?”  😯

Hill profile, as reported by #fetcheveryone

“Oh yes”, she carefully replied, via messenger and I suspect she was glad not to have this conversation in real life. 

As the day approached I ramped up my training from zero to 4 miles for the month🤦‍♀️ . Plan B was hatched, which then morphed into Plan C, which involved my car and no bikes. 

A not too early start allowed for a Daddy Bear sized bowl of porridge and a coffee before I collected JB. We’d managed to coordinate Fetch tees and shorts, we never match trainers though for I have the feet of a clown and hers, well… they fill a toe box nicely…😝 

We arrived at the start and it was deserted. This is the start, right? We’d both read the email with the destructions and agreed that yes, the school was where the Race HQ was to be. A check of the email showed that we were wrong to ignore the sign that said Race HQ *this way* and the school wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the email. A quick u-turn and we obediently followed the arrows and parked without further ado. Registered and had a wee and before long it was the briefing and start. 

Garmins ready (and the first outing for my new Forerunner 235 with magic heart measuring powers) and we were off bang on 10am. Uphill. 

We went up, and up, and up. Luckily, it flattened out for about a second, before it went up, again. JB and I made a pact at the start, based loosely on my extensive lack of training, that we’d run what we could and walk the hills. 

155 mtrs in height gained in the first mile and a half at a steady 8-10%. We shuffled a gentle jog – running would be an eexageration – up the hill, actually passing people who were shuffling even more gently that we were or who were walking. No one was more surprised than me when we made the top without walking or stopping. 

A right turn onto a bridleway and JB said “you’ll recognise this, burd”. She says this a lot and it’s hardly ever true, but this time, it was! One of our lesser used bridleways: a puddle, MrJB and I have previous along here – I can now see it as a racing incident, but only just. Anyway, I recognised it *smug face*. 

MrJB getting his elbows out

“It’s really dried out, hasn’t it burd”. “Yes. Why not?” JB replied, and with that we rounded the corner and were shin deep in that ⬆⬆ long puddle before we knew it. Well now, I know there’s a line through that one, thank you very much MrJB… 

 So we ploughed through it, passing Mincing Lady. Down hill now for a mile or so and the bridleway spat us out on to the road with the mirror, where we always take a photo like this. Trad. But we didn’t today cos No Camera. 

As we pottered along at our Not Too Shabby pace that starts with a 10, JB said that we were Parkrun Ready, for we’d run the first 5k without stopping, or even complaining! We knew that after the water station we were due another climb and without saying it out loud we agreed that we’d walk this one. 

It was steeper, a singletrack footpath through the woodsies, littered with bluebells and wild garlic and the sun streaming through the trees. It was really lovely. No – I mean it, it actually was! We dropped Mincing Lady and even caught another couple as we walked up the 120 meters of climbing in the next three-quarters of a mile. As we reached the top, a cheery Marshall said “Next time you see me, it’ll all be downhill!” 

“FFS Marshall, thats what you all say” we replied, cheerfully. 

Still running in the woodsies, we went down a bit, into a boggy bit, and then up a bit, and there she was! “All downhill now” and what’s more, she was bloody right! Leaving the woodsies the final mile was all downhill. 

Into the finish funnel the Man On The Mike announced us with no silly jokes, we scooped up a drink and our (nice green) finishers tshirt, from some well mannered Boy Sprouts. 

I can’t remember what we paid for this one, but it was money well spent. It was brilliantly organised, exceptionally well marshalled, parking was plentiful and the tshirt isn’t bright orange. The atmosphere was spot on, just the right side of ‘party’, tea and cake were plentiful at the finish and the route was gorgeous. 

We finished towards the top of the bottom and were delighted with it! My new magic I know what your heart is doing Garmin said this. And then advised me to take a week off and spend it lying down. 

So I had some cheese and some toast and we went out to spend our recovery on our bikes in the afternoon sunshine