Three days after the Peaker's Stroll Ben Hatherley and I were lined up on a start line again, this time over a more respectable 10k distance at the Toonie Trot. Ben Mason had taken the sensible decision of resting his legs at his chess club's AGM.
The race whilst shorter than the event which we had completed there days before was none less hilly. The race begins at Wooodland waters caravan park and runs in a circular direction with a short steep climb at about 2 kilometres. It was soon apparent that my legs had not recovered from the previous weekends efforts as I staggered on along the tracks adjacent to the fields. Ben Hatherley despite being out for over six hours the previous weekend overtook me at the top of the hill and went on to extend a lead to the finish. The sunny weather had continued and despite my leg muscle soreness I was enjoying running in the late evening sunshine. The previous time that I had run this race the course had been run in the opposite direction. i favoured the clockwise direction because the hill is short yet steep but then leaves a gradual long decsent to the finish. The race crosses a train line twice, once on the way out and again further up the line on the way back. The idea is to run as fast or as slow as not to have to stop if the barrier comes down.I heard whilst mingling with others at the finish that some runners had been held up by a passing train and were ruing their decision not to study the timetable. I finished 13th in 42:28. We sat on the patio with a drink in the evening sun and watched as the rest of the race field returned. Chris England new to running was happy to pick up the first of many a race medals.
The following Sunday we were out again making the most of summer racing. Ben and I decided to cycle from Grantham to the race start at Newark. I had an advantage on road race tyres and I glided along as Ben put in the effort to keep his thicker mountain bike tyres turning. We arrived in Newark in good time to run 10k along a new course.
The new course tuns right after leaving Newark Rugby Club and runs up the pavement to Kelham after which runners turn right again and then complete and anti clockwise lap which involves a stiff hill. The cycle to Newark provided a good warn up and Ben and I raced fast through the first few kilometres overtaking each other at least a couple of times. I was feeling strong but running at balls out capacity. I had run a tough 25 miles the week before with a leg loosening 10k in the midweek, I knew If i could last the sustained effort through the last 2 and half kilometres I would be on for a good time. The physical exertion was overtaken by a mental determination to keep going at pace. I was grateful to reach Kelham Bridge and hammer out the final kilometre back to the rugby club. My effort was rewarded by what I think is a pb over the distance coming home in 16th in 39:09.
This was a good value race, each finisher receives a sports bag and a towel emblazoned with the notfast running club logo. Ben and I cycled the 20 miles back to Grantham and I learnt on the way that his mum trains with the club that hosts the race. The club caters for veterans and NOTFAST, apparently stands for, Newark Over Thirty Five And Still Training!