Just looked up my results from Sundays Woodford to Glenbrook Classic and I came 15th in my age group (out of 41) – I’m so happy with that. I had so much fun running on that course, especially the last downhill section where I felt like I was unstoppable.
It started out a very, very, very, very chilly morning but I was thankful of the late start time (10am) as it would have been even worse if we started at sunrise like most trail events. So I got a little sleep in and drove to Glenbrook to park the car. I easily got a spot and headed for the train to Woodford.
I ran into a few of my running mates John, Andy, Georgie and met a guy called Joe. We chatted about current training and our next big races and the weather was feeling quite lovely at this point. The train pulled up and I sat with Georgie from SHR all the way to Woodford and when we got off the train it was FREEZING!!!! The wind was so much stronger up here and the chill factor was – 4, yuck! The only good thing was that it would provide a lovely tailwind during the race, it would be very unfortunate if it has been blowing the other way. We met up with Todd & Michael from SHR for a coffee at a place on the highway and then headed for the start area.
When we got there we huddled near a rock wall in the sun, trying to shelter from the wind as it was bitterly cold. At that point I wished I had worn log sleeve pants and top, however in hindsight my choice proved to be right. (that’s me second from the left with my blue pack)
We talked ourselves into giving up the jackets at the bag drop and headed for the start line with teeth chattering. We found a spot in the sun and wished each other well (after a few photos of course).
And then we were off. Georgie was super fast so there was no way I’d try and keep up with her. My plan was to use this as a training run so I went very slow and steady at the start, which would hopefully leave me some energy at the end if i felt like kicking up a gear.
The course was fire trail the whole way and there was actually a bike race that started before us, so that’s why we had the later start time. Maybe next year I should come back and do the ride instead? Something to think about as I’m getting a MTB next month – woohoo!
Back to the race. I warmed up quickly and even got a cheer from one of the SES Volunteers who yelled out “Go Hails!!”. At the time I had no idea who he ways, but later I found out he was my friend Nigel’s friend, Eric a fellow Corporate Cup runner.
The trail was up and down and I only walked about 3 or 4 of the hills, they were not as big as some of the mountains I’ve conquered this year! I eased into pace and let people go past me. I had a chat to Anne from work who is lovely as always. I ran past Michael getting a pedicure (and secretly hoped that he would not catch up to me). I chatted to Todd from run club for a bit when he caught up to me too and when I got to the 16km mark I decided to go for it. I put the foot on the gas a little more and decided to use my downhill strength to pick up the pace and start drawing back some places. It worked and I quickly began to overtake people who seemed to be doing it tougher than i was. I looked at my watch at one point and saw that i was running at 4’45” min pace – very fast for me!
The km’s seemed to tick away very fast and soon I was sprinting down the last hill, rounding the bend and sprinting up a small hill to the finish line. I had made it and I had felt fantastic the whole way. What a wonderful experience!!
I highly recommend this race to anyone, especially beginners as there’s no technical trail sections and it’s not as hilly as some courses. I even managed to get a new 21km PB… and it was on the trail. How awesome is that!
A huge thank you to all the volunteers for making the day run so smoothly, it was a very enjoyable event. Even when the announcer stuck the microphone in my face at the finish line to interview me….. ha ha
For anyone who wants my run details see screenshot below from the Nike+ App, I still can’t believe my average pace considering it’s a trail run, but i’ll definitely take it.
I watched some more of our crew come through the finish line and we celebrated with some sausage sandwiches and coffee while sitting in the sun and sharing our experiences. Everyone had really enjoyed the course and vowed to be back next year. Will you join us?
Happy running trailies 🙂
I am from Woodford in London and read your post with interest. With interest because I driver removal van for http://removalswoodford.co.uk/ for the last 4 years and know Woodford very well but the places and trail you mentioned in your post (Glenbook) are not known to me.
Where is your Woodford?
Thanks for your note. I am in Australia and our Woodford is in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales. It’s a very beautiful place and trail runners dream!
Thanks for your comment. I guess there must be some kind of historical connection between Woodford in Austrialia and Woodford in London.
All the best
Yes that’s quite possible 🙂