I’ve done the Ashdown Forest 5k fun run 3 years in a row now. There’s something pretty special about running through the forest – every time I do it I think ‘why the hell do I do boring old road races?’. The scenery, as always, was beautiful and there was just as much up hill as down so plenty of time for recovery. It’s never going to be a fast race as parts of it were like running through quick sand it was so wet, but every year I like to beat my previous time.
In 2010, when I was completely unfit and couldn’t run 100 yards let alone 5k, I did it in 44 minutes. In 2011, after a bit more training, I did it in 34 minutes (it was a very wet year too) and this year I’m happy to report I did it in 29 minutes 51 seconds (as per the race clock).
Despite being reasonably happy with my time, I got off to a bad start – I hadn’t got my Garmin set up so I spent the first couple of minutes jogging slowly and trying to sort that out so I lost a bit of time then – wish I hadn’t bothered as it was quite liberating running without it! There are no km/mile markers, but I know the course so I wasn’t worried about that and I knew when the finish was coming up and when to start speeding up a bit. It would have been nice to get a proper Garmin time, but never mind – I’ve given myself something to beat for next year. Maybe next year I’ll aim for 26 minutes!:-)
Diva rating: 4/5