Last Saturday marked the first event in my running calendar for 2018 and it was a welcome return to the Foxtrail Winter Running Series. I took part in their Nocturnal Ultra Relay last December, and am now hooked on their events!
Trail Half Marathon
I first fell in love with running when training for a half marathon, and it continues to be one of my favourite distances. Long enough to find your running flow, but not so long that it completely breaks you. And the Foxtrail Half Marathon might just be my favourite half to date!
Why? It had two of my favourite things, a super friendly atmosphere and stunning trails. Simple as that.
From the moment we parked up, to the moment we left, it felt like joining friends for a massive running get together. The Scottish February weather was delivering a typically grey day, but that didn’t dampen the smiles and welcomes as we all huddled around the heater before the 9am race start.
And before I knew it, I was ankle deep in mud finding my flow on one of their winding woodland tracks (and I wasn’t even missing the pre-race heater!).
Anyone who comes on a run with me, knows I’m a talker. You’d be amazed how much rubbish I can chat during a long run (as long as I have jelly babies). And it was great to be surrounded by fellow chatty runners, coming and going at our own pace.
First-timers and die-hard trail pros
There was Foxtrail first timers, die-hard old timers and a mixture of people from all different running backgrounds. Whether it was a brief good morning, simple smile or full conversation, the miles started ticking away weaving in and amongst my fellow runners and fantastic marshals.
For me, Saturday was all about getting the miles in and enjoying the race, as the big focus is my first ultra in April (I may have mentioned this just a couple of millions times recently). My legs felt mostly strong and running past a group of friends around mile 11 proved the perfect last wee energy boost, taking me along the beach and down the dunes to the finish.
And I realised I’d pretty much (apart from a wee stitch at mile 4) been smiling the whole way round the course. And that’s really what it’s all about isn’t it? Taking part in a running event the way YOU want to enjoy it. Be that digging deep and going for a PB, smiling and chatting your way round, or a mix of both! (If anyone discovers how to run fast and talk do let me know..sprinting is about the only way to shut me up!)
The people and the trails made the Foxtrail Half Marathon a perfect way to kick-off 2018. There was some great performances for running friends old and new, and if you like a stat you can check out my husband’s race analysis here.
Hopefully I’ll be back to enjoy some more Foxtrail race action soon, but for now I am focusing on my ultra training and looking forward to my next race the No Fuss Events Runduro on the 24th of February.
A massive thank you to the Foxtrail events team, marshals and participants for making my weekend!
Currently: Plotting race adventures for later this year…
Training today: Interval session with the Warrior Fit team.
Adventure this week: 22miler planned this weekend!