As Killerton is my local Parkrun I had seen a lot of advertising about this race and was unsure if I wanted to do the 10km or Half marathon distance but in the week running up to the event, looking at the forcast for sunshine I opted for the 10KM.
I had heard that the route was tough but this doesn’t prepare you for what is infront of you but it truely was a great experience.
Waking up on the Sunday morning to lovely sunshine was a real bonus and as I live close I opted to cycle the 10km out to Killerton National Trust Estate so that my family could come out later. Organisation at the event was good, there was a seperate car park for the racers to the NT members which was close to the Start Line and organisation tent and signage was clear, staff were very friendly and helpful.
The ques were not too big to sign up on the day but as with all races the que for the porta loo’s was long! I made full use of my NT membership and used the toilets in the house. There were 3 main races and a 300m fun run on the day with all bar the fun run following the same course to start. The races were set off in 3 waves, Half Marathon, 10Km and 5 km with 10 minutes between them which allowed the field to spread out.
The route was mainly off road and very hilly!! The 5km race followed the same route as the 10km but cut a large piece out with a short cut and the half marathoners had to do 2 laps of the tough course and a small extra lap of the first field. The route folowed many of the marked trails around the National Trust estate but also had some little ‘off piste’ parks which saw you clambering under and over trees and on deer tracks through feilds of wild garlic and bluebells. The route was tough but one of the most senic and pungent races I have ever done!
The key thing with this was race was the size of the hills! There were several hills thrown into the race that really had you working! Some short and steep with others being long and steep and I have to admit that even with my love of hills I found myself walking on several occasions within the race.
The final km was a very steep down hill to the finish which made the finish tougher than you think. Having to pick your route down rutted, rocky paths when you have already tired legs was a real challenge with several ending up off their feet.
The fanal 200m was back onto the parkland outside Killerton House where you were greated by the crowd of on lookers and your medal.
All finishers, regardless of the distance got a goody bag and a medal. the medal was great and after finishing i spoke to Tom from Relish Running Races who said that this was part of a race series where all 7 medals link together and can be mounted on a plaque (see image of 3) All 7 races are being held on National Trust Land and are to encourage all to get involved.
Like most other racers my family had come to support dso once I had recovered and we had had a picnic (Racers get free access to the NT site all day) it was time for my 2 boys to have a go at the 300m fun run! My 5 and 10 year olds lined up on the same start line I had stood 4 hours before and headed out to the first corner in an out and back race. Both finished with huge smiles on their faces. The boys enjoyed being able to take a good handfull of the post race Jelly Beans for competitors and felt they had earned them! For my youngest this was his first ever running medal which he refused to take off and wore to bed!
The race had a great atmosphere and the Relish Running Races team have really thought about making it a great family event and I know they are keen to improve this even further. If you get a chance to do this race or one of the other 6 being run over the summer I would recommend it!