Here is a brilliant guest blog by RIOTer Christina Guppy, who has written about her experience running Wimborne 20 in March.
Wimborne 20 – 3 laps, 1000ft elevation, 300 runners
A disastrous long, training run on Monday led me to complete a last-minute entry for Wimborne 20 the following Sunday. The combination of a race environment plus the company of several other RIOTers would hopefully be enough to help see me through my longest ever run. Thankfully I’d been forewarned there wouldn’t be a medal at the end so could more easily hide my disappointment when I was handed a collapsible cup and bite-sized chocolate bar!
Good for scouting out the hills and finding the sections where you can make the most of a flat or slight downhill to go a little quicker. It soon became clear this run had a great number of friendly, encouraging marshals – possibly the most I’ve ever seen during an event!
Being a 3-lap event, I fully expected to be lapped by the faster runners, however I hadn’t expected it to happen quite so soon! Just as I started my 2nd lap, the front runner effortlessly glided past, starting his 3rd and final lap. While this could easily have dampened spirits, a benefit of the runners being more spread out in lap 2 was that there were opportunities to pass fellow runners on certain parts of the course which had 2-way traffic. After a particular section where there were several welcome high-5s, “well dones” and “keep goings” from other RIOTers I remember thinking “I’m really enjoying this”!
Where has everyone gone?! The group of runners I’d been having the odd chat with during the last 13 miles had decided to finish after their second lap so suddenly it felt a lot lonelier on the course… The gaps between marshals began to feel so far apart I started to wonder whether I’d taken a wrong turn, despite having already run the route twice. I’d reached the point in the run where things were starting to hurt and the inevitable self-doubt creeps in, and suddenly it didn’t feel quite so fun anymore. But then I saw the sign for 400 meters to go, and once around the corner caught a glimpse of the RIOT blue stood at the entrance to the school. Into the school grounds and more RIOT blue, along with the cheers of encouragement and support, and then I was across the finish line.
The RIOT support we’ve all come to know and love was incredible. Some of my fellow runners who were still there to cheer me across the finish line had finished a good hour before me, and yet celebrated my achievement without making me feel like an inconvenience for making them wait – something for which I’m incredibly grateful.
On the morning of the event, Malcom “Man of Steel” Curtis had told me that it wasn’t a nice race (he may have put it more bluntly than that), but it would be great training for a Spring marathon, and who can argue with the Man of Steel? With 20 miles now under my belt the upcoming marathon suddenly felt a lot more achievable… Watch this space!
Thank you to Christina for putting this together for us. A great blog of her running achievement and not only did she complete Wimborne 20 but has kept it very quiet in the blog that she went on to smash the hilly and muddy Larmer 20 the following week (see the above photo). Credit to Nicholas Guppy for the first inset photo and Rosie Pomeroy for the cover photo.
If you are inspired by Christina’s blog and fancy putting together your own whilst we are staying indoors a little more, then get in touch with us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through our Facebook page. Perhaps you want to share an event experience (or virtual event experience – given the current situation)? Or your journey into running, cycling, swimming or triathlon? Some have taken running to interesting locations around the world and may have a story to share? Or maybe one of your RIOT Juniors took part in the Frosty 5km or a Chaos race and wants to write about it? Ideas and contributions welcome.