Watford 10k

Continuing the theme of bonkers runs in unglamorous locations, Monday found me taking a trip to the far end of the Metropolitan line for the Watford 10k.  This was Rosie’s fault as she is vaguely local, and all her children were taking part in the 1k and 3k races (and getting ridiculously fast times – I think even little Hazel is now officially faster than me, at least over 1k… I like to think I have a bit more stamina).

This race hands-down wins a prize for Race Most Different From Expectations.  As it was taking place in Cassiobury Park, I think I based my expectations on the description of Cassiobury parkrun, which is fast, flat and all tarmac.  Admittedly, the website’s description does not actually say it is fast, flat and tarmac but it also shows eleven pictures of the course, ten of which are of flat tarmac, and none of which bear any resemblance to anything I remember seeing.  It also fails to include any of the following words:

  • Trail
  • Hills
  • Really steep hills
  • Solitary water station at 3.5km halfway down a steep hill where they hand you water in plastic cups and expect you to be able to drink it and not accidentally pour the whole thing down your tits
  • Golf course

I could just about deal with the dehydrated body, over hydrated cleavage and 7km of trails in my racing flats, but the golf course was the last straw.  I was held up by marshals for a couple of seconds on the way out but approximately a minute on the way back while they waited for the golfers to take a shot.  It’s hard to work out exactly how long I stopped for because I was pacing impatiently rather than standing completely still.   I’m afraid I might have been a little snappy with the marshals which is unfair as it wasn’t their fault and I felt even worse about this when I read on Facebook that one marshal had actually been hit with a golf ball.  I just think the whole thing was a complete farce – how on earth did they think it was a good idea to send hundreds of runners through a working golf course?  How did it pass health and safety?  Could the golfers really not just refrain from using that hole for two hours once a year to let a charity event take place?

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It’s a shame this happened because other than that it was a really lovely route – the bluebells in the wood and some of the views across the canal were particularly eyecatching and the hills were tough enough to be challenging but not quite up to a Hadleigh/Wendover level of defeatingness.  I admit to walking in two places, but I don’t feel too bad about it because I overtook some people who were actually running.  Sometimes I think it is faster to walk short, sharp hills than to run them, although there is a perverse satisfaction that comes from running the whole thing, even if you run at walking pace.

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My time was 1:15:43 which was still not all that bad, especially considering the involuntary rest break.  Rob somehow got a PB, something ridiculous like 42 minutes, though of course I am sure I wouldn’t have been far behind if I hadn’t been held up for golf, er.  I don’t think I will sign up for this one again unless they do something about the golf though, and I will definitely wear different shoes if I do.

2 thoughts on “Watford 10k

  1. > Sometimes I think it is faster to walk short, sharp hills than to run them

    definitely, it’s what we do in winter cross-country, and mountain ultras and stuff!

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    1. That’s good to know (I have no experience of such things!) I did notice when volunteering at the top of hill at Finsbury Park that while all the very fastest people ran up the hill, there were still some extremely fast people who walked it and a fairly even mix of walk-ups and run-ups from there on.

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