The Longhorn 10k - nearly DNS and DNF

The Longhorn 10k - nearly DNS and DNF

Which would have been quite an achievement in the same race. Okay this is a very long post, so put the kettle on and settle down for a read!

I entered the Longhorn 5k last year and had a good time, even though it snowed. The bling is one of the best medals I possess, so when entries opened for this year's event, and they said they'd moved it to St. George's Day, and they were creating an even more extra-special medal, I signed up. Only I signed up for the 10k. I can only think I didn't have my glasses on and I must have missed when I was ticking boxes.

The event last year was very well organised, with free parking, free photos, good pre-event info, good number pickup on the day and very friendly organisers. All the same this year, except that with two days to go, we received an email to say that unfortunately, the extra-special bling had been held up by HMRC at Customs and wouldn't be available in time for the race. I wonder if they saw St. George and thought it was something political for the EDL :D Anyway, the organisers promised that as soon as they arrived they would post them out to us and not to worry, they had bought a generic medal to hand out on the day. A two-medal race! Woohoo!

I set off this morning with the usual checklist of things done and things packed. The first problem was an almighty fight with my satnav. I hate my satnav. I'm sure I have told her that I want to use A-roads, not goat tracks and green lanes, but she persists in sending me as the crow flies cross country. Well, it was me that was cross this time. If you were also on your way, and you were shocked by abuse coming at high volume from a small black car, I can only apologise.

I arrived at 10am. The 10k was due to start at 10:55am. I pottered down from the car park in lovely sunshine, and hit the first snag - a mahoosive queue for the registration tent. Aaargh! Did that though, then the next - and much more pressing issue - queue for the loos. Now, this needed a marshal. I was getting quite annoyed about this. There was a row of loos and two queues, but the other queue was not playing the game! They were loo-jumping! They were using more than half the loos! I ask you, is this fair? Is this the British way? Not only that, but there were people who were not running - and the clock was ticking - and it was getting closer and closer to 10:55... 'Wee faster!' the ladies in front of me were shouting as people strolled casually forward.

I was hoping to meet up with misswobble before we started but what with lack of signal, the queues for registration and the loo, it didn't happen. What did happen is that I missed the race briefing - and the official start! I dashed up to the start, curved round the corner and over the mat, still frantically pressing buttons on my Garmin - so no accurate start on that at all.

By this point I was in a flap and not at all in a good place mentally to run 10k. I don't much like trail runs anyway and I found this one really hard. The Canicross had officially started 10 minutes before us, but there were quite a few people with dogs, and I have to admit that I don’t like it when I’m running and suddenly a dog or two dogs appear and a runner brushes past me. Then there was a Nordic walker. Oh my goodness, did I take against this poor man? I’m sure he’s a very nice bloke, but he was walking at the same pace that I was running, and I was pushing it a bit (for me) at the start. All I could hear was ‘click, click, click, click’ – bloody maddening! Then there were the ladies from the same club who ran in a group of 4 – across the path. In fact, there were many people who ran together so that you couldn’t get round them. Because this was a trail run, and because it has been so dry recently, the ground underfoot was extremely uneven and rutted, so it was hard to overtake or to go round anyone.

I got to 4k, and I honestly thought I wouldn’t make it to the end. I was so tired, had no energy – so I walked for a little while and thought of all our Marathoners today. At 5k I thought about stopping completely, but it’s a circular course so that wouldn’t have helped! I decided to plod on slowly – and then I remembered that @misswobble had suggested that I take some jelly babies. It’s the first time I have ever bothered, so I dug them out and tried them. I carried on, running slowly and walking where I had to, and got to the next water station where I stopped for a little while, then rationalised that it was only another 3k and surely I could do that.

By this point all the marathoners and the ultras were whizzing past again (and again) with shouts of ‘Coming through!’ and ‘On your right!’, but then there was a lovely lady who cheered me up again when she spotted my t-shirt and said, ‘You’re doing really well – you’re well over 5k! Keep going!’ I’d settled down into a mindless stumble by this point and suddenly we were almost home, and there was the finish – hooray!

I did meet up with @misswobble as we were getting our goody bags (which were great) and that’s us in the photo at the top. Neither of us could see the screen which is why we look rather puzzled, and I for one would have looked slightly less revolting if we had managed to meet up for our photoshoot before running 10k, but hey – we made it!

I hung around afterwards and had a free 10 minute sports massage, which was nice. The chap gave my calves a rub down, and said at one point ‘You can relax, you know’ - to which I growled, ‘This is relaxed!’ Also, I mentioned the jelly babies, but I saved one for later just in case. I couldn’t put it back in my pocket while I was shuffling along so I wrapped it back in its clingfilm and stuffed it down my bra. OMG! Have you any idea what happens to a jelly baby if you smother it, compress it and then pressure cook it at 200C for 30 minutes? Eeewww!!!

I don’t like trail running. Apparently today I could have seen the largest herd of longhorn cattle in the UK, a massive flock of geese on a lake, a lake, an estate house, some sort of species of sheep and other interesting things. What I saw was the ground about 4 feet in front of me. I can tell you that there was reddish sand, black earth in very deep hardened ruts, huge potholes with big gravelly stones in, grey smaller hardcore, tree roots, tree bark and chippings, grass and dandelions, pinecones, small fine gravel, fine shale, tarmac, mole hills and dried mud, to name a few.

However, things I did like: bluebells. Finishing. Meeting up with another C25Ker in person. Oh, and the mistake with the official timing – you may be as pleased as I was to know that my current official time, until they fix it, is about 30 minutes faster than my Garmin time. I’ll take that :)

53 Replies

  • Fabulous write up Annie! 😂👍 you loved it though........go on admit it.....😉........

    Whereas I was skipping through bluebells.....on a lovely 10k trail.....😉...

    Happy days!


  • I wish I'd felt like skipping, Madge! Glad you had fun on your trail :) x

  • What a great tale! Sounds like a great race - bet you do it again next year!

  • Ha ha no definitely not - oh, um... when do registrations open? :D

  • Congratulations Annie and misswobble ! i really enjoyed reading that, and you showed great resolve and good humour in battling through all the mental and physical constraints! you did it! and met another c25kers which is fab! and you get another medal in the post! result! :) be very proud :)

  • Thanks Ali and well done for ploughing through to the end :D Glad I got it all off my chest (including the jelly baby :O ) Here's to meeting wonderful C25Kers and more bling - woohoo!

  • Great write up Annie - and well done to you and misswobble!☺

  • Thanks Sandra!

  • I missed the bluebells, the sheep, and the Longhorns. You had to keep your head down most of the time because of the deep ruts. Very stony. Good though as it was dry. Very warm too! My husband got a bit burnt while he was lying on the grass sleeping off his sausage cob 🍣

    Hats off to the long distance runners. 60k! 😮 Maybe next year Murph 🏃‍♀️

  • I think next time I too will lie on the grass after a sausage cob :) Hope his sunburn is better now.

    60 flippin' k :O Er, no ta! I'll cheer you on while eating my sausage cob!

  • Well done for finishing - totally unacceptable behaviour at the loo's.

  • I was shocked, I tell you, shocked!

    Thank you :)

  • What a super, super super post!

    I was with you, (I did not enjoy it much with all those folk, )but it was brilliant!!!

    I really felt for you, starting all of a flap and a hurry ,the clicking man , the path spreaders and the pushers and shovers...! But you did it... with the jelly baby life savers... and that makes it a great run...because you could have given in but you didn't... and you met Miss Wobble!!!

    Wonderful, wonderful... well done you!!!!


    Randomly.... I am sure that I have passed you on more than one occasion when I have been cycling around Carsington Reservoir ?????!!!

  • Ha ha, glad you enjoyed it, Floss!

    Aaaand... you know you have passed me because of the swearing, the fishing for jelly babies down my front, the puce face, the tutting at the ladies' loos...? :D :D :D

  • I did.. and no, I think I have seen you, because I thought, "by heck, she must be great runner, running around the reservoir", it was tiring enough for me on my bike.....and you are... a great runner!!! x

  • Aw, bless you, Floss! You are so encouraging xx

    As I have probably said, Carsington has defeated me on several occasions, and you will know why if you have cycled round it! Last year my goal was to run round it and I didn't achieve this. This Feb I did the Carsington 10k and surprised myself by not stopping. It's only about another 4k round the whole thing, so that is definitely this year's goal now. I can do it :)

  • Thank you for a wonderful race report. You had me giggling loudly on the busy morning train.

    It is good to hear that I am not the only one struggling with 10k races sometimes😁 Participants are so speedy it makes me feel super slow.

    You've earned your double-bling!

  • Morning Iben.... have a good day x

  • Thanks, Iben - glad you enjoyed my report :)

    I found this one really hard, whereas Brighton a few weeks ago was fine. Isn't it odd how they differ? Although Brighton was a road race and this one was a trail race, I suppose, but even so, it's still the same distance.

    Yes, I was slower than my 'normal' 10k but I still finished. I shall look forward to my bling :)

  • Great write up! I feel for you, loo queues would make me stressed too, so keeping going when you had a less than perfect start does indeed deserve two medals! Great to eet another HU-er, lovely pic. What's on your t-shirt, is it the beyonders one?

  • Ta, Curly! Yes, it's the Beyonders T-shirt, although you wouldn't know it from my rubbish photo so well spotted :) I do like the lime green. I have just been going through all the official photos this morning and it's quite an easy colour to spot :) It is lovely to meet other people, especially ones as nice as misswobble :)

  • Ooh not seen any pics. Will go see.

  • You can't search by bib number though so grab a coffee and look through. I found you on page 12 of the 11am - 12pm, but you'll be elsewhere as well, I'm sure.

  • Oh Annie what a fab run report and I'm giggling away here imagining the state of that jelly belly 😂

    You describe your runs in such detail I'm with you every step!

    Well done to you and misswobble on what sounds a tough course. How lovely to meet up (I'd love to meet anoth C25K'er. *sigh*) and that's a very funny picture. Startled is exactly the right word 😳

    And you get two medals! Even better. Well done both of you x

  • It was disgusting :D :D :D

    I'm sure the course was absolutely fine if you're used to trail running, and probably very beautiful as well! Me being a bit of wuss, and pernickety about how I step up and down a kerb, I found it challenging, to say the least.

    My daughters have been trying for years to show me how to take good (or reasonable, at least) selfies. I daren't show them this one 'cos they'll disown me :D

    It was lovely to meet misswobble though. Is there no one near you? Next time you do an event you'll have to do a shout out! x

  • Love it, this is a hilarious report! :D People and their noises, sheesh. In my first proper race I got stuck for ages with a man I called "Russell" to myself - why do people insist on running in plastic bags?? Well done you, (and misswobble) !!!! It's not your best photo but hardly "revolting"! Sorry to hear about the jelly baby corpse, hope you don't need counselling... :)

  • Thanks - glad you enjoyed it :)

    Ha ha Russell :D And the jelly baby corpse! Come to think of it, it may still be decomposing in my bag :O I must nerve myself to go and investigate...

  • Well done to both of you! I've only done a walk there with more Welsh Springer Spaniels than you can shake a stick at and it was lovely, but I can definitely see the potential for the kind of trail running I don't think anyone likes, once muddy, dried up rutted tracks. Two (or rather, four) medals totally deserved!

  • Thank you! The hall is beautiful. I did notice the lake. Other than that, I would love to go back again because I can imagine that walking there is gorgeous and I would love to see all the features they kindly pointed out to us! I think if you are used to trail running, this was probably a great run. As you know, I get nervous when I step off my tarmac onto the Tissington Trail or the tracks round Carsington, so this was way out of my comfort zone! I'm looking forward to the proper medal :)

  • Only just seen this Annie! Brilliant report! Made me laugh out loud and also gasp in very rude some of those loo users and path blockers! Sad about the fate of jellybabe😳

    It sounds tough but you did it! You have inspired me to look for this one next year.......I will need to do more strength training!

    I'm supposed to be doing a 10k in a couple of weeks, part trail part road. I'm just not feeling it though at the moment. 😱

  • Glad you enjoyed the report, Jacs :) It's definitely a great day out, with something for all - 5k, 10k, HM, marathon and ultra! It's well organised and a beautiful place. The race photos are some of the best I've seen as well :) I most likely will sign up again, I'm just not quite sure if I'll go back to the 5k though because my back and legs are still sore!

    I'm sure you'll be fine for your 10k. Have you checked out the route? Sometimes knowing what you're in for can help you be a bit more ready for it all. I hope it goes well - all the best with it :)

  • That's a good idea Annie. Might take my new motor for a run out later. It starts around Elveston Castle, then along the river, but then the By-pass......I wasn't expecting that! I know the road, its busy but there is a wide walk/cycle path. Ps did you know the early bird for Tissington race next March is out. 5k, 10k, 10m.

  • Castle, river, lovely - by-pass??? Oo-er! I hope you're running alongside it, or they close the road :D Enjoy your run in your new motor :)

    Ha ha, thanks for the heads-up about Tissington! I got all excited, scooted off to book in, and realised I already have :D :D :D A 10k on March 4th, for which I will have to practice because although I trot up and down that very bit of the trail most weeks, it's quite a push upwards to start with and I tend to take it fairly easily :O Oh, well, it's good for me, and the bling is lovely :)

  • Are you doing the Ashbourne 10k that day then? Ive been a bit daft and gone for the 10m. I shall be the very last to finish but it was a friendly affair when I did the 10k this March 😳

  • Yes, that's it. Are you in as well?

  • Sorry see above, was editing as you posted x

  • Oooh, I dithered and dithered about the 10m. In theory I should be up to that distance by then. In theory I could run that distance now! I'm not brilliant at keeping going over winter though so I thought better to go for the 10k and know I can do it than worry about getting enough training in. I'm regretting it now though! We could have come last together! I might see if they can change my entry :O

  • Oooo go on, we can motivate each other over winter!

  • Ps you will be well in front of me, I am really really slow! 44m parkrunis my pb!

  • I have posted elsewhere about you!

  • Aaaargh! Job done :O

  • Yeahhhhhhh! It will be great! Hopefully no rain this time 👍🏼

  • Um... March... Derbyshire...

    I do like optimists :)

  • Mmm true😩

  • Inspiring because it is so real-life. You kept going despite all the hassle - I'll remember this post next time I feel like quitting .

    You may not have been first past the Post but you try are a Success!

  • Aw, thank you, John! I didn't really have much choice because it was a circular route, but I did just grit my teeth and run where I could.

    When I started running I thought that every run had to be a 'success'. I had to complete it, it had to be better, faster, stronger in some way. I've grown up a bit now :) A lot of the time, walking over the finish line is a success - because you got there. Many of the wonderful people on this forum (and the others) demonstrate that in the posts I read daily. Thank you for your kind words :)

  • I like what some said about being last in a race " Without me, they would not be able to start giving out the medals!" :)

  • Yes! And whoever it was that said, "You are graciously allowing everyone else not to be last" :)

  • Right on!

  • Reading this after seeing your well deserved bling, in your new post.

    What a wonderful post! Such brilliant descriptions :) I was running with you as I read it (from the arm chair so not out of puff!). Sounds quite an adventure. Thanks for making me smile :)

  • Thank you! Yes, it finally arrived today :) Glad my tale made you smile - the bling made it all worth while in the end!

  • This was the wife and I's first event.

    I'm totally with you on the loo ques, the people in the left hand ques were definitely using more than half of the loos. At one point I considered nipping off into to woods and watering a tree 😀

    I enjoyed seeing the dogs running though. That said I think I confused a couple of the ultra runners as they heard all this panting and expected a couple of hounds behind them and when they looked it was a fed faced sweaty panting me 😜

    We really enjoyed the event though and will be signing up for next year.

  • Ha! Thank you, I knew it! Loo Q dodgers - terrible :D And you made me giggle about the ultra runners thinking you were a canicross dog!

    I'm so glad you both enjoyed the event - what a great one to start with! Glad you'll be back next year, and with a discount as well :)

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