Race The Train
Race The Train 2018 - Matt Jenneson Reports:
A select crew of Ludlow runners headed off to the Welsh coast for the 2018 Race the Train.
Debbie Bean, Emma Tipton and Nikki Doherty all took part in the morning 10k Quarry Challenge, aiming to beat the train in 55mins. They all ran well and enjoyed themselves despite the early bottleneck at the top of the first hill.
Emma could have shaved a few seconds off her time if she didn't zig zag up the finishing straight, collecting as many high fives as possible. I also hear she was petting a dog when Debbie overtook her. Typical Tipton.
Results haven't been published at the time of writing but all reported having enjoyed themselves throughly.
The 14 miler takes place at 2.05pm as long as there are no leaves on the line. Just shy of 600 runners set off for a fantastic first mile through the cheering crowds lining the town before turning off up a lane and off through undulating fields. A few slips and slides traversing the muddy hillsides in the rain were inevitable and I did see a few limping across the finish line.
The official word is that you need to be well ahead of schedule at the halfway point if you stand a chance of beating the train. I had about 5 mins in hand but an agonisingly slow slog up a steep single track in a queue of weary runners soon put paid to that advantage.
The last 6 miles follow the same route as the 10k, apparently there were some lovely waterfalls if you had the time to look up. As you tick off the mile makers it's like being a contestant on the numbers round on Countdown:
Can I run 5 miles in 37mins? Can I run 4 miles in 29 mins? Can I run 3 miles in 22 mins? Can I run 2 miles in 14 1/2 mins? Can I run this last mile in 7 1/4 mins?
Turns out you can, just. The train took 1 hour 47 mins, I took ever so slightly less.
Great runs from Dave Archer, Heath Mountford, Hannah and Ben Crossley too but more importantly, absolutely great fun and great team spirit as we all cheered each other on. Oh, did I mention there's a big party and bar afterwards which is why most of us went in the first place? I think Tywyn might be enduring a prosecco drought for the next week or so. Honourable mention to Debbie for the finest flamingo costume I have ever seen.
I really recommend you choo-choose to do this race next year.
Published: 19th August 2018