A post-birthday lazy lay in took precedence over a morning long run but that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to run. Oh no, today would be the day to get back to doing a Sunday long run and a recce of part of the new Cotswold Classic 10 mile course.
The club I’m part of, Witney Road Runners, puts on a 10 mile road race in September in the rolling Oxfordshire Cotswold hills. It used to be called the Witney 10 but a few years ago changed its name to the Cotswold Classic. This year sees a significantly different route which improves the management of the event but also increases the chances for faster times.
I’ve never run the race as last year it clashed with my attempt at the Great North Run and before that I wasn’t entering many races. This year I fancy like giving it a crack as part of my build up to the Oxford Half so I thought, with the weather holding, I could get out into the countryside and check out some of the route.
My plan was to run for 90 minutes so after the mile or so to get to the route start I’d run as far along the new course as possible before turning round after 45 minutes.
The course is virtually an out and back so it would be great to see how the rolling hills might influence the start and end of the race. I managed to get somewhere between mile 3 and 4, just at the point where the course splits and rejoins on the return.
I took it easy on the way out and ramped it up on the way back. The rolling countryside was glorious in the sunshine; the poppies glowing brightly. Everything was lush and green today but I was trying to imagine what it’ll all look like at the end of September.
The tight turn and steep hill will make the start quite tough but it soon eases off and the quiet roads should make for great running. There are a few ups and downs which should make for an interesting race, especially for those challenging for the new course record.
So if you’re not doing anything on September 20th and fancy a decent challenge in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds then sign up for the Cotswold Classic here and come and meet me! I’ll certainly be recommending it to any of my athletes training for the Oxford Half.
The race starts at 10:30 and is just £11 for affiliated runners and £13 for unaffiliated runners (with a £1 booking/transaction fee. There’s also a 2 mile fun run and children’s races too.
And today’s run ended up being 17 kilometres which is the furthest I’ve run since the London Marathon. Time to look at my training programme for the summer now!