Organised by Red Kite Runners
This is my first time running Chase the Kite 10k, a beautiful race in and around the Derwent Valley Trail. It is organised by Red Kite Runners in the North East of England. They were celebrating their 4th anniversary and a local news station was in attendance to do a story on the club and the event. It encouraged everyone to give running a try and showed how it can help people tackle anxiety, health issues and how it can bring friends and families together and how new friendships could be made all through running together.
I always enjoy these locally organised trail races, they are always so friendly with everyone just wanting to have a bit of fun and they are usually at a bargain price. There was water, bananas, a goody bag and medal for all finishers, as well as refreshments and entertainment afterwards.
This was one of the busier trail races I’ve attended with over 200 runners, the atmosphere right from the start was brilliant there were so many people around. I arrived early as I hadn’t traveled here before and was unsure about parking but I need not have worried (as usual!).
I collected my race number and timing chip then returned to the car to retrieve my banana, determined not to make the mistake of last week at Hamsterley Forest 10k where I setting off hungry and couldn’t control my growling stomach. I’d chosen my trail shoes again for this one and opted for short sleeves, even though it was cold it wasn’t wet.
There was a .5km walk to the start to warm my legs up and a lot of people took the opportunity to slowly run along and stretch their legs. It was a lovely walk along the river to Butterfly Bridge where the race was to start. We were soon gathered on the start line waiting for the off, there were a lot of different groups of club runners here, a fair few of us lonely runners, friends and families running – a real mix of people. I could hear a few people taking about the route and heard a mention of “that hill”, oh dear I thought, I hope it’s not as bad as last weeks!
As soon as we set off this felt fast it was quite flat along the river and everyone was trying to get themselves into a comfortable position, it’s always difficult at the start of a busy race to find your place especially on the narrow trails. I get stuck between not wanting to be left behind and not wanting to go out too fast and be struggling for the second half. My Garmin alerted me that the first mile was over at only 8:00 minutes gone and I knew I would be able to keep up this pace but I felt good and battled on.
The race continued around the river and through the surrounding woods, it was a cold but dry day with a bit of a breeze, another good day for running in lovely surroundings. The fact that the ground was dry probably contributed to being able to run faster without fear of slipping and falling.
I was surprised when I spotted the 5k sign, the first half had flown over I checked my time and was around about 24:20. This makes me think the route must’ve been pretty flat until this point. I took a water bottle from the water station and clung onto it for the rest of the race – I needed it!
Not long after the uphill began, it was pretty steep and I can’t remember how long it went on for, we passed right by some horses who thankfully weren’t the slightest bit bothered that a load of nutters were running through their field, I always worry they get spooked and start galloping at us!
The last part of the race was a nice downhill stretch then back along the river where we first started. I still felt quite strong and pushed on, I managed to catch up to and pass a few other runners on this final part which gave me a confidence boost. I had a feeling this was going to be further than 10k when my Garmin buzzed for 6 miles and we were still quite a way from the finish, in the end my watch showed just over 6.5 miles, not that it matters, it’s all part of the challenge wondering where the finish line is and making it across hopefully with a smile on your face and a great sense of achievement!
There was a crowd of support at the end, the Marshall’s were cheering everyone on to get in that sprint finish. There were cheers of “Well Done!” for all runners. I managed a sprint finish and crossed the line with another runner to come joint 54th in 53:56, I was so pleased with this time after Hamsterley Forest last week. I collected my goody bag and medal feeling great and cheered on the remaining runners near the finishing line.
I would love to come back and do this event again next year, I would highly recommend any runner to give it a go; it was such a friendly run, lovely scenery and there was a great buzz from arriving at the venue right through to leaving, thoroughly enjoyed it!
You can check out Red Kite Runners here:
My next race is with Trail Outlaws, the Washington Trail 10k another first for me and I hope to write my next blog about it. I have ran with Trail Outlaws before, they always put on a challenging but really enjoyable event and you can tell they love what they do. You can see what they are all about here and maybe get yourself signed up 🙂