Tarpley 20 – 27/02/2022

I travelled down to Thurston in Suffolk to take part in the Tarpley 20 mile race for the first time. There was also a 10 mile event and a total of 299 runners completed the 20 mile race with a further 316 completing the 10 miler. It was a bright sunny morning but the fresh breeze made it feel very cold as we lined up on the start line. The course consisted of a single lap route which went out into the villages of Felsham, Thorpe Morieux and Brettenham before heading back to the finish in Beyton, just outside Thurston. The route can definitely be described as undulating (!) and a reasonably strong headwind on the way out meant that the first 10 miles were tough going. However there was good support out on the course with a well marshalled route and supportive marshalls. As we looped back and reached the 14 mile mark, the 20 mile route rejoined the 10 mile course and after running on my own from around the 6 mile mark it was good to have the target of some of the runners in the 10 mile race to catch and go past! As we neared the finish, mile 19 included quite a steep incline which was a hard struggle at that stage of the race, although the steady downhill section in the last mile was much appreciated before another small incline to finish on the field of Thurston Sixth Form College. I managed to hold on to a top 10 finish in 8th place overall, 3rd place in my age category and knocked 50 seconds off my PB which was very pleasing! However, I was way behind the winner from Spa Striders who was almost 16 minutes ahead of 2nd place, finishing in an incredible time of 1:45:30!! The event was very well organised by Saint Edmund Pacers and was well worth the journey. Definitely a race I will look to do again.

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith2:05:08Yes, 3rd in Age Category and New Club RecordDiamond