Chase The Train – Sunday 22 May 2016
Chase The Train – a very accurate title as the train was indeed ahead of me for all but the first 2km. However I believe the idea is to beat the train, as you run the 8.9 mile soft track alongside “Norfolk’s longest narrow gauge railway” from Aylsham to Wroxham, with the train setting off 10 minutes after the race start. It’s a pretty route, with lots to look at, and plenty of people to talk to (or get in your way on the narrow track – depending on your perspective). I’ve since been told that I’d like it less if I’d repeatedly trained there like the rest of the Jags.
The day was warmer than expected – the forecast cloud burning away to leave blue skies. The North Norfolk Beach Runners did well with supplying water though, with two well marshalled water stations on route. Plus bridges and overhanging trees supplied occasional shade and the ground was cooler than when racing on a road. There were many supporters on route to cheers us on (thanks for the shout out, Emma Jorden!) including our Alan, plus some slightly confused looking dog walkers.
Tony Alborough had better success in the beating the train, speeding off at the sound of the gun. The disappearing act was probably because he was embarrassed at wearing GREEN rather than Jag orange!!! Nothing embarrassing about the time though, coming in at an impressive 1.03.05 and 15th place out of 169 finishers.
The more appropriately attired Julian Smith, clearly knew what he was doing, predicting a time of “about 1.10” and coming in at 1.09.25 and 40th place.
I took it cautiously at the start due to the warmth, further slowed by the congestion (chatting). However, having got to halfway and feeling good, I put my foot on the gas and was delighted to come in at 1.13.19, 56th position, 5th women and first in 35-44 age category.
The extra treat with this race is the free train journey back to Aylsham, which I really enjoyed with Julian, coffee in hand. (Tony got picked up from Wroxham – I expect still feeling shy about the green.) There were an interesting range of walks from those alighting at Aylsham station, sitting down for an hour not being the best race cool down.
One thing that could improve the day would be to have some sort of welcome back at Aylsham – there was little post-race atmosphere. I overheard one other club in the Aylsham station cafe commenting that the car park had nearly emptied and wondering where everyone was. I still enjoyed my post-race fish pie and cuppa – food tastes so good after a good race.
One I’d be keen to do again. (Unless you Jags train the enthusiasm out of me.)