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Sunday 20 March 2022

Ashby 20

My colleague from work is doing the Tromso Rat Race this weekend. Snow biking, snow shoeing and cross country skiing across three countries. It sounds amazing and costs an amazing amount of money. None of which is of course is going to be as amazing as the Ashby 20.

They haven’t had a lot of luck at Ashby in recent years. 2018 was snowed off and although 2019 went ahead the last two years have been Covid-ed off. The original 30th Anniversary was cancelled at the 11th hour in 2020 with the first lockdown about to be announced.

I have the iconic hoodies for that race and the 2021 Virtual one, so I thought I best actually earn this year’s 30th Anniversary ‘take two’ one. Plus I need the training.

'Organised by runners, for runners' by Ivanhoe Runners, race HQ and the finish is in Bath Grounds although we start at short walk away on the road.

The weather is good, sunny but cool. The course has a great first mile which is all downhill, which of course means that the last mile wiil be all uphill. Then you arrive in Packington where you start two nine mile long laps.

These are hilly laps but with steady and rolling hills rather than anything too severe. We head through Sponge, then up an incline through Swepstone towards Heather and then finally through Normanton Le Heath as we head back to Packington where my support team of L, MD and the Lad await. I've kept a good pace at around 9 minute miles and lap one is done in a decent 1:29. Then I do it all again, just more slowly slipping down into the 10s and 11s.

Although I finish five minutes quicker than at Oundle last week in 3:12:10 this isn’t the fastest Ashby 20 time recorded by anyone in our house. L’s 3:07 from 2003 still stands and may never be beaten.

Then it's time for the iconic hoody, the iconic cheese cob and a commemorative 30th Anniversary medal which is the first time the Ashby 20 have issued a medal.

Funnily enough I quite enjoyed it.

  (Sunday 20th March)

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