We arrived at Caldervale Village Hall around 9am last Sunday (17th Feb) for our first ‘official’ trail run, Muddy Shoes 2013, organised by Steve Ashcroft / Shoestring Results (ukroadraces) where we met up with a few of the Chorley Sweatshop Running Community crew from the beginners trail running group.
The weather was glorious, no coats required and after collecting our race numbers, map and some deliberately vague directions both groups (5 and 11 mile) set off from the bridge in the village centre to be ‘greeted’ by the steepest damn hill I think I’ve ever run / staggered up. Soon we left the road and proceeded up and down hills, through the muddiest fields I’ve been in since I was a kid which was great and around the beautiful countryside surrounding Caldervale.
We knew we weren’t going to break any records and tackled the course with a view to just enjoying ourselves and laughing along the way as we got lost (a little) and covered in mud (a lot). It didn’t seem like we’d run any distance at all we’d had such a great morning, even though some of the hills were true monsters and the muddy patches more like swamps. As we came down the road back to the start / finish I was chatting to Lydia and Mandy as Wendy surprised me and from out of nowhere produced a burst of speed for a ‘sprint finish’. I wasn’t having that so took off after her and just caught her on the finish line where we nearly ended up in a heap as we crossed the bridge together. Laughing and a little winded we collected our medal and bag of goodies and hunted down the rest of the gang.
After a quick hose down round the back of the village hall and getting into some clean clothes we all met up in the hall for a welcome meat and potato pie, mushy peas and probably the most welcome mug of tea I’ve ever had along with a slice of cake.
All of the SRC gang did very well, either coming in first overall or first in their categories and it gave us a great feel for just how friendly these smaller local events can be. The organisation was of the highest standard, the volunteers / marshalls very encouraging and the company at the start, on the way round and at the end brilliant.
We’ll be back next year, a little faster but no less ‘fun’.
In fact we enjoyed it so much we’ve just entered ‘Muddy Bottoms‘, a local 9 mile trail / cross country run organised by the same people.