Stubbington. It sounds like the kind of place youâ€™d expect to find the Famous Five hanging out, waiting for their next round of smugglers to foil. Or the sort of place you might stop on the way to Buckingham Palace to see the Queen. At least, thatâ€™s what I thought when we moved there from Australia.
On Sunday, two of my best friends and I ran the Stubbington 10k. It was kind of like a homecoming for me (itâ€™s the place Iâ€™ve lived in England for the longest), with much banter was had on Facebook, and many a selfie taken. Oh yes, my friends, it was like that.
The race itself is organized by the Stubbington Green Runners, and it was a well-oiled machine: numbers could be picked up the day before, they used timing chips, roads were closed for the barest of minimum times. The whole village centre was shut off to traffic, and everyone trooped together up one of the roads to the starting point.
The first two kilometres took us out of suburbia and into the countryside. At kilometre three, we were met with the big hill of the race. Luckily, compared to Durham, it wasnâ€™t so huge, so it wasn’t as challenging as I’d anticipated. Â Once that bad boy was out the way, the next four kilometres were on a gorgeous, winding country lane. I knew this would be a relatively long stretch so I was mentally prepared to chill out.
The weather was perfect. The sun was shining through the hedges, and along the way there were horses galloping in the fields along side us, excited by what was going on. Then, after 4k of gorgeous countryside, we were rewarded with two kilometres by the sea. On our right side, we looked out across the Solent to the Isle of Wight, and on the other side there was a bird sanctuary and lake.
Â This was taken the previous day at a pub. But you get the idea of the view!
The final two k rounded back into the village for the finish. Before the event, I had expected to run with my friends on the route, but they preferred for each of us to go at our own pace. So I didn’t know how it was going to go, and it was a good test to see what I could do with a comfortably challenging pace (ie. a pace that wasnâ€™t easy, but wasnâ€™t a ball-breaker either!).
In any race, I think the kilometre just after half way is the hardest, and this wasnâ€™t different! But pushing on through a relatively flat course, I was really happy to finish with 00:49:11. And my friends made it back in 57 and 59 minutes without stopping, so we are all stoked to be under an hour (Whoo hooooo MM and AW!!)! Thanks to all the volunteers and the race organisers for a great morning.
The rest of the weekend was really good too, with lots of good pub food and catching up with old friends.
And now Iâ€™m in Oslo for work for the next couple of days, because thatâ€™s how I roll. I have my sweat sports gear in amultiple plastic bags, but Iâ€™m crossing my fingers that it doesnâ€™t stink too much by Thursday! My colleagues wonâ€™t be impressed if I smell like a locker room.
Bit different to the Sunny Solent!!