Last Sunday the whole house ventured to Salisbury along with Cardiff compatriots Garga and Kokila to make a Sri Chinmoy Athletics Cub outing and we all ran the Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1 20 km race – all bar Garga who’s injured at the moment. Nice morning turned out to be quite hot as we set off under clear skies to run on trails and roads around the old town of Salisbury, famous for the proximity of Stonehenge which lies on Salisbury Plain, 8 miles to the north.
Kokila warned at the start to take as much water as was available at the aid stations and by the time we had climbed Old Sarum I was wishing I had brought my hydration pack as it was really warming up. The trail at that point was a foot-wide narrow rut and was a great opportunity to run in my North Face Voza shoes that I am currently reviewing and I had no problems with any feet issues.
The course runs along public footpaths and roads, bridleways and even (possibly) some private land. Every now and again the hedge would shrink and we were treated to some beautiful Wiltshire landscapes. The great weather enhanced the feeling that this was indeed summer… after all the recent rain and the greeness of life was tangible especially in the shaded section before and up to the 6 mile checkpoint. Coming down off the ridge the course came back into Salisbury along some water ways, idyllic scenes especially at one large castle like property that we came to after crossing a small bridge across a river full of lillies and a pair of swans.
I had started out a little faster than I should have and I guess I slowed a little as in the last quarter, 4-5 people went past me looking very strong but I hung on getting a little disoriented in the last mile but finished chasing a team from Totton RC, just edging the two ladies in a time of 2:00:27, good enough for 50th spot and 3rd in my category. Mark came home first in the team with 01:49:29, 24th overall. Suswara had a spectacular result with a time of 02:02:53 and somehow coming in first place in his category, LV35 and 12th female overall!! He still hasn’t explained how he managed it. Kokila had a great run finishing in 02:37:54 and still smiling. However Kokila also was involved in transgendering as she was listed as MV40, 80th in “his” category.
Afterward we decided to get a shower in the Leisure Centre, conveniently located nearby and I realised I had not brought my towel due to a lost wallet situation prior to departure. However, shower was imperative and worry about drying afterward so jumped in and cleaned up and the only thing I felt I could use was my cotton socks. It worked!!! Hard to believe but I managed to dry myself with a pair of cotton ankle-quarters. Then I wrang them out, put them on with my sandals and sat in the sun for half an hour having a post race picnic and by the time we’d had coffee and got back to the car, they were dry again. I love cotton socks.