|Off too fast|
After the Ropsley Raid race in January I was back in the village for the annual six mile lung buster through Humby, Sapperton, Braceby and back along the final long straight mile to Ropsley. The village of Ropsley lies some way south east of Grantham. Its flatish and the 2011 event was humid with a cool wind head for the final mile or so making the later part of the race more difficult. the Ropsley Raid is as a local race, entry only on the day, it reminds me of the various Wednesday evening fell races which I used to enjoy in the Peak District when living in Manchester.
The Ropsley Raid is an excellent low key "fun" run organised by Ropsley Road Runners. For a nominal entry fee each finisher receives a medal and more importantly a voucher for the bar at the Green Man public house which is adjacent to the start and the finish. The voucher can be used to purchase a drink to the value of £3.20 (as announced at the start) which is ample to buy you a post race ale. In addition there is a barbeque serving real Lincolnshire sausages with onions, mustard and tomato sauce. This year there was also a raffle. I bought three strips by accident and failed to win a thing but the pint and sauasage barm more than made up for it.
I started the race too fast. Its amazing despite all your experience how you forget the rules from time to time. The sun had come out in Lincolnshire I had run a decent five miles at lunch time and consequently I arrived at the start with, in hindsight, too much enthusiasm. By mile two I knew I had overcooked it and tried to reduce the pace without losing too much momentum. By half way I decided I needed a easier second half and was grateful that a running friend pulled alongside and lead me through to five miles. During the final mile I managed to muster a bit of effort to overtake the three folks that overtaken me earlier. I finished strong but tired in a time just over 39 minutes (awaiting official results).
The folk at Ropsley Road Runners know how to put a good race. The Ropsley six is a fine evening out. In my four years in Grantham I haven't done a Ropsley six when the weather has been anything but sunny. Thanks to Ropsley Road Runners for a great event. If you live anywhere near Grantham put it on your list. In addition to the six mile race there is a two mile dash favoured by children. Finally it was noticeable that there were many potential novices who had turned out to have a go. Its a good accessible event to those curious at entering a race for the first time, give it a go its a cracker.