Saturday 4 June 2011

Cleeve Cloud Cuckoo - an evening well spent

Each year, as Summer beckons, I look forward to the series of mid-week races put on by Cheltenham Harriers.  For the first time, I've been both healthy and home for the run up and around "Cleeve Cloud" - one of the higher parts of the Cotswolds - so I put up a notice on the EVRC website and rescheduled my week to make sure I could race. 

The 5.5 mile course wends a figure of 8 around the hill and into the associated disused quarry.  At around half past seven on a warm sunny evening, 123 runners set off along the hillside - no doubt disturbing a few nearby golfers as we went.  The first mile essentially kept to the countour on the Western face of the hill, with the odd sharp hill.  Then we looped around to head down into the quarry.  A few steepish hills provided for some entertainment before the steep hike back onto the hilltop.  The third quarter of the race gave a bit of time for recovery before the final steep climb to the five-mile mark.  Finally, with a couple of target runners in front of me, I ran at top speed for the last half mile down a steady descent,  leaving me prostrate and gasping for breath once I'd crossed the line.

The race was pretty fantastic.  No single thing stands out about it, but from the moment I managed to get back on my feet, I have only been able to think "what a great evening out!".  I'll have to plan this one in for next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment