The North Downs Run is an 30k event with a justifiable reputation for being well organised, well supported and good sweaty fun. The 2018 running was no exception.; but it is also accepted to be a tough one. This is not only because it often seems to coincide with hot temperatures and the start time inevitably means that the running takes place at the time of day usually reserved for “mad dogs and Englishmen” – it also goes up and down a fair bit.
Desperately clinging to the comfort of some shade at the start of the race with Adventure Daughter, it was clear that the distance running adage of start slowly and then go slower was the only way we were getting around this today. And so that’s what we did. Tagging along behind an obvious veteran running a metronome pace we traversed woodland, planted fields, fields with great biodiversity and occasional rural roads we reached the halfway point in good shape. At halfway was just one example of the great water and jelly baby stations along the route, supported by lots of cheerful volunteers.
We pressed on across fields, passing the Cock Inn where the crowd usually found at this point must have been distracted by the England display at football World Cup and up the infamous cricket pitch hill (in the picture).
We finished in just under 5 hours.
My thanks to the organisers Istead and Ifield Harriers and to everyone who volunteered to make this day happen. I know there were another 500 plus runners but you made it feel like you were there just for us.
Photo Credit - thanks to Dawn Granger Photography www.dawngrangerphotography.co.uk/