10th March 2012
Red Shoot Camping Site, New Forest
The inaugural New Forest Festival of Running, organised by Naked Strength, was held last weekend and with races ranging from 5k to 100k.
I decided to enter the women’s 10k as it is rare to find women’s specific races and the shorter distance meant I could still get in a reasonably long run the next day. The race was based at the Red Shoot Camping site, next to the Red Shoot pub in the New Forest. Naked Strength had a great little set up with a food stall, a few clothing stalls, a post race massage tent and a bouncy castle (great for the kids…there were a lot of mums running so I think the dad’s were very grateful for this!) in a field adjacent to the pub.
At 10.15 the race director announced that we had a quick walk to the start…it turned out to be a good 10 minutes which was a bit of a surprise and probably the one thing I would like to see altered for next year. At 10.30 we were off. The route was signed and marshalled but we were also led off by a chap on a bike who expressed glee at being chased by 50 or so women across the forest! I tend not to look at race maps before I start so I was surprised to find that most of the race was on trail and that there were a few decent hills thrown in.
The scenery was great though and the marshals were friendly and supportive. I wanted to make it a fast run just to see how I would go over a shorter distance so I was pleased to find myself in 4th place after the first few minutes. Any girls out there will appreciate that being a women’s only race it was nice to actually feel like I was near the front! The leader and eventual winner of the race pulled away pretty quickly – I found out later that she was Triathlon Champ Rachel Brown – so I just tried to stay with the two girls in front of me. I kept them in range for the rest of the race and finished in 4th which I was really pleased about as it was my best ever result. Unfortunately there was no finishers medal, although there was the option to buy a finishers t-shirt. Overall a good event which I will plan on doing again next year.