The Staveley 18K

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I had booked on the 18K Staveley Trail Challenge some time ago. This is a short route for some but longer than I’d run off-road since June last year after breaking my foot at the Trailblaster.

Last week I decided I needed to run a bit further so headed off to Wycoller and attempted the Trawden 10 route. Had to give up at 6.5 miles with a niggle in said foot! Saturday was looking doubtful - foot feeling tender all week. But last minute new trainers and the motivation of a night away in a tepee with friends had me on the start line.

Someone had collapsed at the end of the 10K and watching the medics working on him (looked very touch and go) gave me a bit of a reality check. Just said to myself, give it a go and if it hurts turn back...nothing ventured and all that!

First two miles uphill were mainly road and farm track, nice little section on grass and then the first downhill. It was pretty rocky and technical in places and I slowed to a walk (was quicker on the ups). Lots of people passed me and I felt pretty demoralised. I was tempted to give up as thought I wouldn’t make the distance. Little bit of farm lane and track and I was back running comfortably.

The race set off 30 mins after us as we were delayed and in what seemed like no time at all I got a "Come on Trawden" from Chris Holdsworth the race leader.

A beautiful route with a couple of climbs and wonderful views. My friend Stacey caught me on the last climb with a mile to go. She said let’s run in together but I told her to head on as knew the final descent would be tough. It was and once again the world and his dog flew past me.

Final half mile to the finish was back on Tarmac so I made a few of the places back. Lovely to run back into the field with a shout of "Go on mummy!" and my two and their friends all ran the final section to the finish with me.

I absolutely love these races. I’m not yet confident with navigation and running at the same time so these are perfect for me. I know they are pricey but I have enjoyed every one I've done. Celebratory beer and wine and a night in the tepees at Hawkshead YHA. A brilliant weekend with lovely people was finished off with a dip in Rydal Water and being chased by a swan!

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