A couple of months back I was introduced to The Big Cheese for the first time. This was run at a really nice leisurely pace with good company and man’s best friend which took around three hours to complete and after this experience I was convinced to enter The Big Cheese for 2019. 

In the meantime, I was actually looking at joining a running club and so decided to join Cheddar Running Club…. roll on the 24th March – the day of the race! 

On the day the weather was perfect and had been for a little while therefore conditions were optimal for off-road running. Meeting at the school, everything “just worked” and was organised really well. It was a great touch walking amongst 300 runners to the start line with massive amounts of excitement and anticipation building for the race ahead.

So… how to begin this next line… My GPS watch buzzed the first mile in and yet we were still ascending the first hill from the start line!  To be fair, there was a good mixture of climbing and drops that included fantastic trails with loose rocks, stone boulders, tree roots and mud underfoot but nothing too hazardous for the 15 mile course.

In a funny way this really felt like a team event – anyone passing asked if I was okay and spurred me on with encouragement and I found myself doing the same to others. All of the marshals were fantastic, water stations with jelly babies were a welcome sight and treat along the way… and being met by the Grim Reaper on the trig point was also a highlight especially when he knows your name!!

This was a very tough race (I finished in just over 2 1/2 hours) but an extremely rewarding one with fantastic views of incredible landscapes, topped with like-minded runners and an all-round brilliant experience to be had… I look forward to next year when I’ll be a marshal.

Categories: Race Report

Joanna Rich

Race reporter and full time muppet fan

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