Sunday, 10 July 2011

Notfast 10K - Newark on Trent

The day before the Notfast race I had been run off the road in my car. Traveling through the quaint village of Sproxton on the way back from Oakham another car pulled out in front. The evasive action involved full brake lock and a sharp left turn of the steering wheel. The car slid towards an earth bund and jumped Dukes of Hazard style onto the village green, missing some wooden stakes in the process.Slightly shaken we had escaped unscathed although I was holding the gear stick which was no longer attached to the gear box. The other car had "done one". And so we abandoned the car and set off walking back to Grantham, the start of the weekend's exercise. Some two and a half hours later we arrived at the Gregory in Harlaxton and phoned a taxi.

I awoke at 8am the next morning and wrestled with conscience. I'm not a morning person and will look for any excuse to stay in bed. This morning I had plenty of excuses, I'd have to cycle to Newark and back and race in between, could I be bothered? A car crash the day before, maybe I'd better help my partner retrieve the car, maybe I'd suffer after shock? It was a late night after walking back to Grantham, maybe I needed more rest? I resolved to draw the curtains back and if the sky was grey I'd go back to my slumber for a few more hours shut eye. There wasn't a cloud in the sky.

The cycle to Newark was straightforward through the back lanes via, Barkston, Marston, Hougham, Dry Doddington, Claypole and Balderton before arriving at Newark Rugby Club for the start of the Notfast race. I saw a buzzard soaring high above Marston Moor and was sorry that I didn't have time to stop and watch it. I was thankful to the villager that helped with directions through Marston and I arrived in Newark about an hour after I had set off. The 10k is organised by the Notfast running Club, a club that is open only to 'veterans' aged over 35 which happily means I wouldn't qualify just yet! There are subtle challenges on the Notfast race that make it a little more challenging than a standard 10k. The start and finish is on a grass field which makes it difficult to get into a rhythm at the start and challenges tired legs at the finish. Somewhere after half way there's a gradual incline which tests the resolve and threatens to slow your pace. Despite the challenges its a fairly fast course. It was another humid race and I was glad to finish in 39:43, I worked harder today than I thought I might have to.
The Notfast race is another good value event. The race fee is seven pounds to enter or nine pounds on the day and includes a decent t-shirt. The race is well organised and it's always nice to have access to post race showers. There was no point today, I had to cycle home. At the end of the race my partner texted me a photo of a snake she's found on the road on the way to retrieve the car. Thankfully the gear stick had only popped out of its clutch. I must have been holding too tightly as I braced for impact. The breakdown service were able to pop it back in. All's well that end's well, no cost, phew!      

NB) Ive added a post below about an ascent of Mount Misen in Japan, didn't have time to do it at the time...