Salcey Forest Autumn Challenge 6 Hours 2020

An actual, real life, race.

Big Bear Events Salcey Forest Winter was the last race I went to (report here) so it was fitting my first one since lockdown was here, too.

And this was my first race as part of the Brigaide!

Pre race there was lots of information to read about how it was going to be conducted because of COVID and there was a smaller number of runners than usual.

I made sure I read everything, watched the pre-race video, and felt confident it was going to be fine! I was just so nervous as I am recovering from breaking my ankle and would the parking machine take my card and what would the weather be like and… just overthinking…

I got a plan from my coach, and it helped settle the nerves a bit. My anxiety loves a plan!

I was worried I’d do something wrong but the lovely folks at the aid station prompted and reminded fuzzy runner brain to hand gel, I didn’t hug anyone and tried to run to one side.

So on to the race…

I turned up ready to run, so no registration or briefing. I did some socially distanced chatting with a lady who had amazing leggings, and it put me at ease the friendliness of people had not gone away during lockdown. I also said hello to my “internet now real life friend” Becky.

It was a beautiful day for it at Salcey, the rain mostly held off for my laps and the forest was looking wonderful.

I felt relatively good throughout my laps. Here’s an overview in pictures and lap by lap.

Lap 1: Don’t go too fast. Don’t go too fast. Man, it’s humid. Salcey is nice today. Overtaken by Becky. Hello! Oh that was surprising the lap felt good.

Lap 2: With Becky. Moaned about life. Had a lovely chat. Back to the aid station for ready salted crisps. Yum. Furthest I have run post curb incident.

Lap 3: Yep feeling tired now. Keep pushing. Maybe I could do 4 laps? No that’s not sensible. Oh hello ankle, you’re not having fun any more? Damn. Back to the aid station. Thought about lap 4 for a while and decided to be on the safe side and call it. Collected goodies. Forgot to buy bobble hat.

I then sat in my car for a bit and waited for Becky to finish her first ever half. Yaaay! We celebrated in the cafe with cake and a veggie sausage roll. Look at this deliciousness.

Big thanks to the Big Bear team, volunteers and runners – I’m always worrying about everything but this was a great race and felt safe.

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