id1102-Tour of Epsom 2010

Written by Debs   

Debbie Raymond was our sole runner in this year's edition of David Denton's local classic,and here's her report.

Tour of Epsom 7th – 11th June 2010

A series of 5 races over 5 nights in various parks and open spaces in the Epsom and Ewell area. If you complete them all you get your well-earned Tour T-Shirt presented to you at the end of the last race.

The first evening the 1-lap 3.3mile race was at Horton Country Park. It rained before we started and was warm throughout. Unfortunately, this course has a long boring bit on the return and, along with suffering from a stitch I got disheartened and finished 38th of 122 runners. Not bad but I was 11secs slower than last year.

The second evenings run was at Nonsuch Park. A fairly flat 2-lap course, double-backing on yourself. For me, psychologically, this was good as I like to see how near/far the other runners are to me. I finished 38th of 131 runners but still managed a slower time than last year. I didn’t think being 365days older would make such a difference! I had supporters this evening too. Johanna Gibbons came to help marshall and cheer on as well as sister Rachel, her husband and my children who entered the FREE kiddies races. The kids races are for U6, U9, U11, U13 and U15.

Weariness had started to set in by the 3rd night. The 2-lap 3.7mile course was held at Hogsmill Open Space (Ewell Court). Once again it was warm and a number of children ran in their respective races. Daughter Jessica was pleased to be 1st girl home but disappointed she was beaten to the post by the 2nd boy! Son Ollie enjoyed running better in his race. I tried really hard to keep up with the 2 ladies that I had been close to the previous evenings but to no avail. I lacked the energy and was being zapped by the humidity and finished about 10seconds behind them in 36th of 112. I finished day 3 with a cumulative time of 76mins 17, 29secs behind the lady in 3rd place and 30secs ahead of the lady in 5th. Comfortable. I decided now I was now running to get the T-shirt and not for top 3 in my age group.

Race 4. The 3mile 2-lap time trial on Epsom Downs. I always like this course. The long downhill section at the end of both the 1st lap and the finish is great for quick finishing; being able to see the runners at various points of the course; and starting at 10s intervals always means there are people ahead of you, like bait, to overtake (unless you start first of course!) I felt at home at this race. It was much cooler with a fair wind – just like cross country and loved it managing to beat one of the girls I had my eye on!! Supporters this evening were my mum and sister Rosie. My finish time was recorded as 23.31 but was actually 40seconds faster (I was supposed to go 40seconds earlier than my original starting time but didn’t – one of the problems with this type of race if the organiser changes your listed start time without you knowing!)

The final race at Nescot Playing Fields. Another warm evening and an earlier race, just right for a picnic with the family. The children once again go off first and there is a presentation of medals for each child who runs. Jessica finished 2nd in the u9s while Ollie ran very well in his race. Interestingly, there are always more children on the last day when the medals are given out!

The race was about 3.5miles and looped around 2 playing fields enabling the supporters to cheer you on as well as for you to be able to see the other runners. I ran an even faster race beating both my closest female rivals, although I should point out that we are all friends at the end of each race and willing to share our picnics! I finished 32nd of 111 athletes and 4th female. However, it was not enough to make up for my slow start at the beginning of the week. I finished the tour with the T-shirt as 4rd SW (6th female) and 27th of 85 runners. A few years ago we would have 6-8 K&P members running this event. I must admit I did feel lonely being the only Kingston athlete.Next year I’d like to see more of us running it. Thanks to all my supporters and babysitters for helping out.

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