Brutal end to 2019

Saturday morning’s usually start with me checking the time, noticing that Parkrun is about to start, then either putting the kettle on or going back to dreamland, or both.

Saturday 28th December, involved a slight change of plan with the kettle going on earlier than usual, and stepping on the gas along the A3 while regular Parkrunner’s were falling out of bed.

Heading from London to East Hampshire for Brutal Longmoor 16km run has become an end of year staple, with 2019 being the third consecutive time I’ve taken part in this run.

Arriving just in time to collect my number, activate my springs, flexed limb ready position counting down from ten and off we went.

The course was only slightly tweaked from previous years – taking in a familiar two lap 8km course with plenty of sand dunes, trails, hill climbs (walks and crawls), water features, and twists and turns.

Conditions were fabulous, mild with a slight breeze and humidity. This meant that some water features and sticky mud baths were not as obstructive as in previous years. However, the hills remained challenging and I felt the burn on lap two.

Starting the second lap with the knowledge that I was third place lady and heading for a podium place – I’ve managed to get prizes for Vet winner (KitBrix bag) and 2nd lady (Change IN Bag) on two other Brutal’s I’ve done this year (Bagshot 10km and Hawley Lake 21km) – I took the opportunity to enjoy this lap by crawling in as much mud as possible and taking in the motivational signs on the hills. “To truly enjoy the downhill, you must first conquer the uphill.” I hadn’t noticed any signage on lap 1. Nice. And absolutely not “in the zone,” but in a good place.

Luckily, my too relaxed attitude left enough in the tank for a sprint finish, but I had to crank the pace to earn the prize.

I’ve never been so pleased to win a vest and headband scarf.

Published by Zealousrunner

Faye is a London-based British Athletics registered athlete, coach, volunteer and licensed Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF), Movement and TRX Suspension Training. She regularly participates in endurance sports and is a member of Fulham Running Club.

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