Sunday was the date of the Bramley 20/10 – a Road race around the village of Bramley in Hampshire (Just outside of Basingstoke) which is a relatively flat 10 mile loop. 20 milers do the same loop twice.
It’s quite a well-regarded race on the calendar as one of the few 20 mile races around for good marathon preparation, and attracts a field of great runners (And these three reprobates).
Dave and Simon were in the 20 miler, and I was doing the 10 as that fit better with my training plan. Jodie also took part, and was entered in the 10 mile but wanted to see if she could do the 20 with her sister Lauren, who was using the race as her first 20 miler in training for her first marathon in Manchester. Jodie didn’t want to sign up for the 20 as she wasn’t sure how her pregnancy would affect her ability to run 20 miles.
Getting to the race was easy enough, and the car parks were signposted from the main roads. The only problem we found was that we ended up in the “overspill” car park which was a good 15-20 minute walk to the start – but no big deal.
By the time we got there the HQ was bustling with loads of runners assembling and changing. The organisation here was excellent with plenty of toilets (Though the queues as always before the start of a race, were massive) and great baggage and changing facilities. It was absolutely freezing though, definitely a day for gloves! We of course got the obligatory club pic!
Start arrangements were pretty good – whilst there were no “pens” there were very clear signs indicating where you were meant to stand based upon your predicted finishing time. Being a good local race with many experienced runners, this seemed (to me) to be pretty well-respected. The only slight problem was we were all too bunched at the front and had to be moved backwards so not to affect the timing mats!
We were away pretty promptly, and aside from a bottleneck about 50 meters in – thanks to an inconsiderate driver who parked on the course – we were away cleanly.
The course itself is of a reasonably flat profile, with a few climbs (The main one being at 6 miles) but nothing too strenuous, and the rolling nature of the course meant it was pretty fast. There was a small loop then a larger loop – a bit like a lopsided bow tie. The roads were open, but there was very little traffic. Though saying that, I did see one close call between a van and a BMW who ended up nose to nose, 6 inches apart!
In my race I was neck and neck with number 278, and we chatted regularly throughout keeping each other motivated. He looked and sounded a bit like John Bishop, only shorter!
Thanks to Barry Cornelius of Oxon Races, we got some good action shots.
Being the only one doing the 10 miler I saw everyone pass the halfway stage after I collected my bag. I JUST missed Dave but saw him through the fence. Everyone looked really strong at halfway.
Somewhat astonishingly, just before I saw Jodie and Lauren, the winner of the 20 miler came through in 1h40 or something ridiculous like that. Absolutely motoring!
At the finish the goody bag had some decent stuff in it – A “Seed shot”, a mars bar, some Dolmio pasta and cheese, and a decent medal. The other nice touch was they had a “trolley token” key ring – perfect when you need a pound coin for your shopping trolley!
It was a great race all in all. I was delighted to have PBed, Dave wasn’t too happy after a consistent first lap but a difficult second. Simon maintained a good average but was a bit up and down on his mile splits, and Jodie/Lauren did brilliantly – much faster than we expected them to come through in.
And the scores on the doors:
P47 – Matthew Warr – 1:06:44 (PB)
P515 – Jodie Warr – 1:42:16
P190 – David Purchase – 2:27:30
P206 – Simon Carney – 2:30:33
P706 – Lauren McCarthy – 3:33:07
All in all a fabulous race, highly recommended!