Monday, 13 January 2014

Naunton Nearly 19 - 12 January, 2014

"The Naunton Nearly 19 is a great way to say goodbye to the traditional holiday "insulation" and the winter blues. The marked route starts in the scenic village of Naunton, Gloucestershire and takes in 1450ft of ascent, some fun descents, and a few chocolate-box Cotswold villages."

Descending a few hundred feet from Stow-on-the-Wold to the village of Naunton saw the temperature drop, a few flood signs appear and a hilly landscape appear on the horizon. I headed in to the village hall which was filling up with about a hundred and twenty other runners.

The race organiser's safety talk got everyone's attention - "check point one is near the first water crossing, check point two is after the second water crossing...". A short walk to the start, we were greeted by a horse and then we were off. Well sort of it got a bit congested on the first path up the hill but things soon thinned out.

This is a trail based race with the odd segment of proper road here and there. Lots of ups, lots of mud, lots of gates and stiles. There were descents and they were fun and these were mixed together with some water crossings to clean your legs and trainers in (very thoughtful). A trail of arrows, three check points stocked with water and an assortment of goodies and cheery marshals ensured you couldn't get lost - even when the rain and fog started to appear towards the end of the race.

Oddness of the day had to be running towards and through gun fire provided by the local clay pigeon range. Buff, medal and hot soup at the end. All in a good day out in the cotswolds. Hope to be back in 2015. Detail of the race can be found at:http://www.cotswoldrunning.co.uk





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