Thornborough 5 (and 10)
By Katie Haylock
As the Milton Keynes Marathon runners were in their first hour Adam and I were lined up on the start line of the Thornborough 5 Mile Fun Run event, this is a yearly run which takes place in the beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside. It was the second time I had taken part in the event and Adam’s third, the last time I had run the course was in 2008 alongside Adam, his sister and his mum. The 5 mile fun run event commences at 11am, a respectable time for a Bank holiday Monday! 20 minutes prior to the start of this is the opportunity to take part in the 10 mile race which Adam and I would have considered, however, we are running the 10k Silverstone Grand Prix race on Wednesday and therefore wanted to save our legs for this (not sure if this is an excuse or common sense!).
The event is organised by the Thornborough Sports and Social club and credit where credit due, they put on a really great event. We managed to park the car quite easily and then walked up to the centre of the village where the hubbub of the event was in full swing. We registered for the 5 mile fun run and then had plenty of time to take in the atmosphere and get prepared. It felt like all the village had turned out to either help organise, take part or support and although we weren’t Thornborough residents ourselves we were made to feel really welcome. Although the emphasis was on fun I was keen to get a good time, especially after my disappointing run at the LBAC “Boxing Day run” a couple of weeks earlier. At the start line I nestled in just behind Adam and amongst the ultra keen youngsters, I checked out the competition and figured that there were a few women who looked pretty fit so I may have a bit of work to do!
The countdown began…five…four…three and off went the younger runners so I went too, and everybody else! The run begins with a climb up and out of the village, I was pleased with my start, unsure of how many were in front of me but it didn’t look like too many and I could see Adam for a while so that was either a good thing or I had gone off way to quickly! The road soon levelled out but after turning the corner of the first mile there was another hill to climb and as the course went on I was soon reminded about the undulating terrain. At every mile we were welcomed by a group of marshals handing out water and refreshing sponges, some of these stations were set up by local residents outside of their homes demonstrating again how well supported the event was by the local people. I passed mile two and was feeling good, I was keeping a good pace despite the undulating course, I told myself that all I had left was a park run!
At 2.5 miles I was gaining on a lady who I had had my eye on from the start, she looked strong and I didn’t think I would be able to get anywhere close to her. I managed to catch up with her just before mile 3 and then had to decide whether to sit in behind her for a bit or overtake……I overtook as it felt like the right thing to do, however, around the next corner was a long hill in front, I dug in and managed to get some distance between us. I reached mile 4 and soon after noticed a road sign saying Thornborough 1/2 a mile, I still felt ok and managed to up my pace a little more, especially when I heard the heavy breathing of another runner gaining on me. As I entered the village I stepped it up and managed to hold off the person behind, I crossed the finish line in a very respectable 36:04, in 2008 I came in at 47:27.
After a battle against a local runner it came down to a sprint finish as Adam crossed the line in first place running it in 30:02 which was also great PB for him.
Now to prep for the next event, this time alongside some LBAC fellows!