by Mike Norton
This was a fantastic tough scenic race, although not quite as tough as the Warmbrook Waddle 10k which I ran on Sunday. This inaugural race kicked of the Immortal Tri Weekend at the Stourhead Estate. The route took in many of the stunning sights and views around Stourhead Estate and adjoining forestry. About half of the route followed quiet closed country lanes with the remainder on stunning forest tracks and trails. There was a total of 770ft/235m of ascent.
Martin Hooper and Andrew Finn ran as well. It was Andrew’s first race for us and his first 10k race for a very long time. We started under the Stone Arch of the driveway to the house at 9 o’clock. Strangely there a reluctant for anybody to go to the front of the start line, certainly not the norm. So I obliged, especially as it was a quick downhill start. I set off quickly out of the ‘blocks’ and if it had been a 1k race I would have won but sadly there was 9 km more to follow, but I was happy to say I paced the winner through the 1st km and was still in third place at 2km but then the hills started and I settled into my normal plod as Martin overtook me on his merry way.
We run through Stourton village then past the Lake before taking a right turn crossing a dam before starting a run towards the forest. We then looped through the forest, which takes in some beautiful clearings and pasture before returning to the dam, which supports the lake, and the flip side of a fast start is we had a killer hill to finish!
Martin had a great run on tired legs and came 9th I held off a late surge from Andrew (31st place) by 14 seconds and came in 30thout of a small field of 89. We received a fantastic medal and a technical t-shirt. The race marshals were very good and supportive. Not much in the way of spectators around the course but plenty of noise and atmosphere at the end. This is a race I would definitely recommend you run if you get a chance next year.
Andrew, Mike and Martin