Doddington Palace Gardens 10k – Race Report
462 days after my last race, it was great to be back on the starting line. The Doddington Place Gardens 10k is a new race on the calendar, taking its course through the trails and hills of the estate. There was also a 5k option, and 5k and 10k Canicross (running with your dog) races.
The weather conditions could not have been better; a crisp and sunny spring morning, with barely a breeze in the air. Fast conditions though – these were not! After a quick downhill section for the 1st kilometre, the route took runners back up the steep valley on the other side of the estate, through farmers fields, where more ‘undulations’ awaited. The ground was rough underfoot and I was glad that I had taken note of the race organisers pre-race instruction – “trail shoes are advised”. The uneven surfaces and tight corners made for technical descents, which challenged footwork and concentration as much as strength and speed. Back down the valley again, across the road and up ‘the climb’ – this was steep! No chance to get your breath at the top, another short loop around the start/finish area and for the 5k, that’s it. The 10k’ers got to enjoy another loop! This was like a cross country race, without the cold and the wet!
The runners were set off in waves at the start of the race, and there was also a morning and afternoon session, to allow for adequate social distancing. Having started in the first wave and set the pace – although I finished ‘1st‘, my placing was only known after everyone had finished. As it happens, only one other competitor clocked a faster time in the 10k (by quite some distance I might add!) – leaving me with 2nd overall on my return to racing.
The race was brilliantly hosted in a picturesque setting. The marshals were all brilliant and it was this, and the support/supporting of fellow runners, that made it so good to be back again. After my own race finished, I cheered on our own Phil Stevens who had set off in a later wave. Phil also completed a strong race to finish 9th overall and 2nd in the V50 category.
Jack Bradley 40:05
Phil Stevens 43:36