Ragley Hall 10K, Warwickshire, 6th March 2016

John Grimshaw has been out on his travels again, this time running a10K in Warwickshire for a good cause. Here is his race report:

The Stroke association resolution 10k run at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire.

I ran this race for a number of reasons..
My friend said he was doing it, then my brother had a stroke in Feb and finally my mother died with Alzheimer’s just before Christmas and this race was on Mother’s Day.

So there were mixed emotions when I arrived at Ragley Hall for registration at 9:30am, held in the grounds of this very pretty estate, close to Stratford-upon-Avon.

There were very few details about the race online but I assumed it would be a fairly standard 10k round the tracks/roads of the estate… But It became clear looking at the grounds that this was not going to be on roads or even tracks.. So my choice of foot wear was a worry, overnight rain luckily had dampened the ground without making it too sodden.

Now arriving at the start in the beautiful grounds a large purpose built glass conservatory held the registration with very enthusiastic volunteers, registration was painless and simple.
I soon meet my pal (Geordie relocated to Birmingham) he had brought his 10 year old son, a keen park runner who was doing his first 10k, full of nervous excitement he asked a million questions… All valid.
The race began after one of the most bizarre warm ups… Running round in circles like demented Morris dancers!
We lined up and the announcer said 2 mins, On your marks get set GO!!
An we were off across open grass to the only 400meter stretch of track on the course 2/3 of which was up hill, 90degree turn took you up across fields (standard cross country) following, very loosely (some more than others) the signs in the ground.
The course then took you down a steep bank another 90degree turn across a boggy field before the refreshment point (this was mainly bypassed as most people cut the corner.
You then made a climb up a step gradient before returning down the same bank running straight towards the stately home. Another 90 degree turn followed the edge of the field to the start of the second lap and the 400m of Tarmac.
I have to say that the ground was so uneven and the cross country part was so painful on my ankles and calfs the first lap was nearly my last!
However I persevered and my second lap was quicker than my first, even when I nearly turned my ankle twice!
The final run in was such a relief even though it was on grass as it was flat and even so I had a showboat finish at full belt!
All in all a great cause, and venue, just think they should mention it’s a true cross country (beautiful) course.

If anybody would care to sponsor me please check out what I’m doing for Alzheimer’s and the stroke association over the year (also what I’ve done the past three years for Alzheimer’s)
Any support however much is very welcome…
I will be doing at least one 5k, 5M, 10k, 10m, half marathon and marathon race this year in memory of my mum and for my brother after his stroke…
Please help if you can