Cross country running is not something I particularly enjoy, though I did not have too much trepidation approaching Sunday’s (February 23) run at Ickworth House.
How tough could 10k be?
Tougher than I’d imagined was the answer.
Insane Terrain specialises in running obstacle courses in the region, and is now to providing the cross country runs at the National Trust site as events for runners through the usually vacant winter months.
I am used to road running and tackling half marathons, but that failed to prepare for how draining it is to plod along on soft, wet ground, and how challenging it would be to dodge all the swollen puddles, mole hills and burrows.
Despite the lack of obstacles, the organisers has made a good job of providing a challenging course and utilised the surroundings to make it an enjoyable race.
The route was much more hilly than expected, and was challenging from the outset due to the wet ground and uphill climbs.
Hauling myself up through the sheep field was a slog and there were styles to be scrambled over and paths to weave round.
I chose to do the two-lap 10k race rather than just one lap, although the problem with lap races is you know what lies ahead the next time.
In this instance it worked well, as the route had a nice finish on the footpath to look forward to and being just two laps did not become repetitive or dull.
As I started lap two though it was disappointing to hear the announcer say the first 5k runner was just finishing, and thus I would have won had I done that distance instead.
As it was I crossed the line in just under 50 minutes, which I was pleased with.
The route had driven me to exhaustion but also provided a platform for me to put in a strong run.
Despite there being little over 100 runners there was a good atmosphere to the race, which was well organised and enjoyable.
Having experienced this I am now looking forward to competing in one of the firm’s larger obstacle races, which attract around 500 competitors through the summer and take place in Ipswich, Cambridge and Peterborough.
Visit www.insaneterrainrunning.com for more about the events.
For all the latest sport see Thursday’s (March 6) Echo.