Day 2 of the Tour of Merseyside has arrived. Today's event is a 5.9 mile course in Thurstaston on the Wirral.
It has a reputation for being tough, particularly the beach section and the steps. Lets find out how Sarah and Baz got on...
I’ll admit, tonight’s run was making me nervous.
Thurstaston 5.9m multi-terrain.
I remember Baz saying how tough the sand section of this race was, and the off road bit through the woods.
I’ll be ok, I ran up a mountain in Wales the other week.
Yeah, but everyone is talking about the sand. I’ve NEVER run on sand (unless you count playing flipper cricket on the beach as a kid).
Oh, well. I’m not doing this event for the epic PBs, I’m doing it for the epic experience – and I’m known for liking a challenge!
Baz and his wife Annmarie (number 1 super supporter), her dad Mick (Shabba number 1 fan), and his nephew Callum (Shabba super fan) picked me up at 5pm to travel through the rush hour, through the Tunnel to Wirral Country Park, where the start line is.
We weren’t excited at all.
We got there nice and early, scoped out the start line and found the loos etc.
Thanks Marie! Me and Baz were then interviewed about why we were there and hopefully represented the Shabbas well on film!
There was loads of chatter and mingling going on, and at 6:50, I started to wonder where Mark was. Just then he came flustering round the corner – another cousin had turned up and delayed him leaving the house so he was running late.
We gathered on the start. The rain had just started up a bit, but wasn’t too bad, and me and Mark lined up together his knees were in bad shape, so he was going to start off steady and see how he got on.
And we were off! Just under a mile and we hit the beach.
At this point I think I was pretty much in the last 5 of the group. But as we hit the sand, I found I was overtaking people.
I wasn’t trying to, I just fell into a technique that seemed to work on the terrain – which varied from wet sand, dry sand, slippery rocks and shale.
We left the beach and began the climb from sea level. I found Mark switching his knee brace from his ‘bad’ knee to his ‘good’ knee – so I did what every good cousin would do.... Took the mickey. He was off and running again and passed me as he zoomed into the distance.
The climb wasn’t too bad. I’d heard horror stories about it – but the Trail Half in Wales had put me in a good place of how to tackle it (as well as some great advice from Tigger about technique). The hardest bit was the trail section that included steps. And it wasn’t that they were steep, it was more they were deep, and broke your stride, so there was a bit of walking going on.
Then it was all downhill, back to the start – I ran for about a mile with another girl, and we had lovely conversations about different trail runs we’d done.
And then we got to the final corner.
And I could see another runner that was in catching distance.
Oops. So much for saving my legs for tomorrow – SPRINT!!!
Yes I caught her, and yes I crossed the line smiling.
Cheered on by Mark, Baz and Marie.
Baz to Marie – “TOLD YOU SO!”
The weather was turning cold, so we said our goodbyes and headed back to the car.
Baz then presents me with his traditional race finish drink – lager! Well! He had PB’d