Report from the Hon. Handicapper:
Thanks again to the hospitality of Colin I traveled up to the Northumberland, this time for a trail race in Thrunton Woods which is a few miles west of Alnwick. The Thrunton Thriller advertises 2 races a 10k ish and a Halfish Marathon, the emphasis being on the ‘ish’. The races are a mixture of pretty much every type of off road running you could think of, rough woodland, fallen trees to leap/duck under, wide forest tracks, steep rocky climbs and descents, heathery/muddy/swampy moorland.
The 10k is basically a big clockwise route with a bit of an out and back at the start and finish, the Half a couple of extra loops one at start another near the end of the 10k. Oh and just as you think you’re coming to the finish the organisers added a short quarter of a mile or so scramble up the steep bank near the start/finish area, just for a bit of fun?
It was the Half for me, 10k for Colin, after a very lethargic start on the first loop I started to feel a bit better as I started to catch the tail end of the 10k race enjoying the twisting route through heart of the woods. A long climb the, “Hill of Doom” brought us out to the windy open moorland, where I caught up to Colin with his dog Monty. A long boggy drag through the heather took us to the next race split, a mile or so to go for the 10k, 5 ish for me with a 4 ish mile loop.
Not having a watch and running round in circles in foreign woods, I had no idea at any point where I was or how far I had left, the aim was just to follow the well marked route until I got back to the finish! Back on the combined route and back to passing the 10k runners I thought it must be all down hill back to the finish, well it should have been! However along with lots of other folk I ended up reversing the initial extra loop, adding the best part of two miles doh… which I didn’t realise till after, so I ended up doing over 15 miles, not the 13.5, but I wasn’t too bothered. Colin managed to take the correct route back gaining lots of places, finishing 19th, Monty taking the honours as 1st dog..
Results: 10k (more like 8.5 miles), 1st Scott Watson 1:22:21, 19th, 1st V60, Colin Best 1:51:35, Half, (~13.5 miles) 1st John Butters 1:51:54 possibly or (unnamed runner 1:51:46)? I was (approx. maybe) 22nd, 2:24:45. As somebody accidentally or otherwise nabbed my number I was given replacement & appear as an unnamed runner 498… Full results of sorts here, some photos here.