The Moody Cow (Temple Newsam Ten)
Despite a shared general dislike of Cross Country Running we decided to enter the TNT Temple Newsam Ten in a bid to kick start our running in 2016.
Preparation for the race went well with us both showing great discipline on the Saturday night when limiting ourselves to a mere 2 bottles of Prosecco (between us not each).
In a bid to improve both my diet and race day experience I had asked Sara to buy some Porridge on the Saturday. When I asked her for them on Sunday morning (having slept in) she informed me she hadn’t had time to go shopping because she had had a little afternoon sleep. No breakfast for me then
As mentioned we managed to sleep in and woke up 30 minutes after we should have done. It meant grabbing my running bag and driving straight there in shorts and brogues that were near the door.
We arrived at the venue with only 15 minutes to spare and scrambled to Race HQ to collect our numbers. Numbers now in place we made our way to the start line (via the ladies toilet) and promptly began arguing about race strategy.
I had decided I was using the run as a training run and wanted to simply get my head down and grunt my way round. Sara said she would run with me but I didn’t want her to telling her to have a go at what looked like a largely fun-runner field.
I don’t like running with Sara as I feel I hold her back. As a result of this start line discussion we set off running not speaking. To be fair I don’t think I helped her by telling her to just go and win it. She puts herself under too much pressure and what I should have said is enjoy it and if you place anywhere it would be a great achievement. I thought about this a lot during the first half of the race, wishing I hadn’t have said something so stupid.
The course itself was grim and contained a mixture of grass, trail and a small amount of tarmac. It was a tough course that contained no small amount of hills, most notably the one in the last half mile. The ground was extremely heavy underfoot making it difficult to get any sort of rhythm going. I slid, plopped and slopped my way round what was a scenic course in weather that represented all 4 seasons. It was windy throughout, poured with rain for a good 30 minutes before the sun came out and provided us with a rainbow which encouraged me hugely as they remind me of an ex-student who sadly passed away.
I crossed the finish line heavy legged in a time of 1:18:28 in position 92 out of 657 runners. Sara had managed a time of 1:16:24 in position 74, bagging £20 as age category winner.
We both thoroughly enjoyed this race and were surprised at this given our feelings towards cross-country and the challenging nature of the course and conditions.
After the race we revisited a restaurant we had stumbled across on a previous run, the aptly named Moody cow in Apperley Bridge for a well earned Sunday Dinner. It is well worth a visit (www.moodycowgrill.co.uk)
Would recommend this race to Harriers next year.