Race Report: Bradfield Bash April 2021
The sun was shining, the weather was sweet. Hum the rest of the song to yourself for the rest of the day. You’re welcome :D
We could not have asked for a better start to our first post-lockdown race of 2021, and the inaugural in-person edition of the Bradfield Bash. The skies were blue, the early morning air was crisp with the promise of ice-cream weather later in the day.
Jon and I were excited, nervous and more than a little bit giddy! We had been waiting for this day as long as the runners who had entered, possibly longer! All the runners were apparently quite excited too, as everyone turned up with plenty of time to spare.
The plan was staggered starts in small groups, to reduce any bunching up on tight parts of the course. This went so smoothly that we may well keep it forever, and are certainly taking the suggestions for time-handicapped start groups into consideration for next time. Racing in small groups with people you know you can compete with? Sounds like a win to us!
All the runners were off, up up and up a bit more for the first half of the course, with beautiful views at the top (not that any of them had the energy to spare to appreciate them!). The second part of the course is downhill, with some tricky technical bits before a solid sprint along the road to the cricket pitch finish.
Not wanting to tempt fate, we didn’t dare be pleased with ourselves just yet as we awaited the return of the racers. With bated breath we watched the final corner to see who would appear first. That person was Stuart Vas in a very strong 35:55 – giving him the first official course record, and one we think he will hold on to for the foreseeable future! First lady back was the unstoppable force of nature that is Pat Goodall, a local legend on the fells. She will be back at the next two races to defend her record of 46:41.
A special mention has to go to Claire Corkhill, who determinedly ran the virtual events last year, and informed us that yesterday she ran a staggering SEVEN minutes quicker than her fastest solo effort! Good work Claire!
We could finally breath a sigh of relief as the final runner arrived back to a brilliant round of applause from the (socially distanced) runners who were still in the area.
The smiles on faces and the happy, sweaty, tired runners enjoying the sunshine on Low Bradfield cricket pitch was such an amazing sight, and one we have all waited so long to be part of. We cannot wait to do it all over again on the 16th May, and look forward to seeing you all there :)
If you want to be part of the happy throng of runners next time you can enter any/all of the remaining races here.
As always, thank you to everyone who took part, marshalled, supported us and sent us an email afterwards to tell us how much they enjoyed it. There were genuinely a few tears shed :)