Another race, another medal, the Wargrave 5
If you have been following my blog, you would have gathered I like running in races. I find them motivating, something to work towards. Also, they keep me motivated but most of all, I enjoy them. It’s nice to explore the different races locally and take each race as it comes. Sometimes I have a better run and other times not, and …..sometimes it’s about finish lines not finish times and collecting a bit of bling along the way.
Earlier in the year, I came across another fairly local race the Wargrave 5 organised by Wargrave Runners, so I entered. This was going to be my second five-mile race this year, a month after the Marlow 5. This also meant I could monitor my fitness levels by running the same distance, even though the courses were different.
Location and race details
Wargrave is a large, historic village, on the River Thames in Berkshire, a few miles away from Henley-on-Thames. The run started and finished at the Wargrave Recreation Ground, and followed country roads between Wargrave and Crazies Hill.
Wargrave Runners have been hosting an annual road race since 1983. Initially, the run was a non-standard distance of about 8-miles and then in later years a 10km race. This became well established on the local circuit. This year, they made a change with a decrease in distance to 5-miles. Essentially trying to fill a gap in the market. Lots of 10k races have been popping up locally over the years, and they felt this would create an attractive intermediate challenge.
The course profile of the Wargrave 5 showed a long and steady climb just before the halfway mark of the route and then as per the saying, what goes up, must come down. :-)
There was a limit of 600 entrants, minimum age of 15, cost of entry £15 affiliated, £17 unaffiliated in advance, or £20 on the day. Venue facilities were, parking, toilets, changing rooms, kit store, refreshments, and children’s play area.
On the way to the race venue, there were clear signs along the roads directing you to its location. Upon arrival, I was directed where to park, which was on flat grassland. I headed to the race registration to collect my number, which was very simple and easy. I pinned my bib number to my top. The race was also chip timed. The timing chip was not part of the bib number and had to be attached to your shoelaces in the form of a loop.
The route and recap
Before the start of the five-mile run, the organisers hosted a Fun Run for children aged 5 to 14. This was a mile long, off-road course within the recreation ground. Medals were given to all finishers. There were plenty of entrants and plenty of support from the sidelines, some parents ran alongside their little ones.
A little while later, it was our turn to run. The route took us out of the recreation ground following rural roads into the countryside between Wargrave and a hill called Crazies Hill. I felt okay but found my legs were not at their best. My calf muscles were tight, my legs also felt heavy, so I decided to walk the hill. It was the first time I have ever found myself at the back, in what seemed to be the last position.
Alongside was another fellow runner, Cathy from Datchet Dashers, we decided to buddy up and run the race together and take a Jeffing approach (run-walk). Cathy turned 60 this year and is working on her bucket list ticking off challenges along the way. Her race number, kindly designated in light of this, number sixty as part of her running adventure and challenge this year.
It was great to help support and encourage another fellow runner in completing the race and also hear about her story. By helping someone else, I found an improvement in my running. I am happy to say that we did not finish at the back and did not come last.
It was lovely to run with and pace Cathy to the finish line, for which I received a hug and a thank you, oh and not forgetting my medal. Cathy was delighted and completed her run with a personal best.
It was gratifying to hear and see Cathy’s fellow club members cheering her all the way to the finish line. Shortly afterwards, they took a group photo, what great intra-club camaraderie. This is what running is about and says it all. Well done Cathy!
I finished with a time of 00:58:52.
Although at times I struggled, I thoroughly enjoyed this lovely little local race. Five-miles is neither too short nor too long. On this occasion, the hill made the run that bit more challenging. I would do this race again as it is not the usual flat run, not far to go, and I would like to try and improve my time.
I’m going to give the Wargrave 5 a score of 3.75 out of 5 on the Runiversity of life™ Runometer™
Route and elevation profile
Check out my other races and parkrun recaps and reviews
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