Monday, 5 January 2015

Run Forest Run - Kilbroney 10K Trail Race

My first race of 2015 was to be another Born 2 Run 10K trail taking place at Kilbroney Park in Rostrevor, Northern Ireland. It might interest you to know that C.S. Lewis got the inspiration for Narnia around here, and you can see why with some of the breath taking views on display. Even on a wet day like this.

Born 2 Run Rostrevor Trail Race

Setting Goals For 10K Trail Race

Today I was not looking for a lion, witch or any wardrobes, instead I was hoping to improve on my last performance, in which I walked for quite a few stages. So I made myself three simple aims:
  • To make it around the course without walking
  • To beat my last time of 53.08 minutes
  • To finish in the top 100 
I was assuming that if I kept running, I could easily beat my last time. I wasn't sure what the course would be like, but I guessed that it would be something similar to the Tollymore race. It turned out that it was a very different challenge indeed.

Born 2 Run Rostrevor Trail Race

On arrival into a full car park, we pulled alongside this van. I have no idea what line of work this is, but I thought it was worth taking a picture of...

Funny Sign
Apologies for this...

My brother was also running today, which would make this the first time we had competed against each other since the 2009 Barcelona Marathon. I beat him that day, but I knew he would be a lot faster than me this time. He was starting at the front whereas I was somewhere in the middle. Or even slightly behind the middle.

Born 2 Run Rostrevor Trail Race

The Race Plan

There was a good crowd of over 300 people all ready for the Siren to start, and whilst getting my Runkeeper ready I kept on thinking about my race plan. Start slowly and keep running no matter how hard it got. I would only stop if I thought I was injured. Everything else could be dealt with mentally.

Slow and steady wins the race. Or will at least give you a better chance of finishing.

And with that in mind, off we went.

The Race

The race became very crowded after the first turn, with little room as the pathway narrowed. However the Born 2 Run participants seem to be a considerate bunch, and even though we were all setting off at different paces, good etiquette was displayed by all with apologies being given and sidestepping becoming everyone's technique.

It took another few corners until the road widened and we were able to run at our desired pace down hill. I had to keep reminding myself not to go too fast. After a couple of minutes we were pushing uphill. This hill got steep, then it got steeper, then it kept going. I should have done some homework on the course beforehand. I wasn't expecting this at all. And it didn't stop.

We climbed over 500 feet, with most people choosing to walk up. I actually managed to keep running, but it was in no way a speedy ascent. I was overtaking quite a few people at this point, but as I had no idea how long the hill would last, I was doing just enough for it to be called running.

The scenery was fantastic and the rain was staying away, which makes me think I should invest in a camera for days like this. I have one on my phone, but it's a hassle taking it out of my arm band and then attempting to take pictures without stopping my RunKeeper, GPS, Bluetooth or music.

The course was tough, with a few more hills to climb before the finish. But I managed to keep running, even when in the final two miles my legs were telling me to stop. I kept gaining places too, with only a handful of people overtaking me while I was passing more and more runners. The slow start seemed to have worked.

Born 2 Run Rostrevor Trail Race
You can do it, Tubs...

I finished in 52.16 minutes, placing 111 out of 354 runners. This meant that I achieved two of the goals for the day. Getting into the top 100 will have to wait until the next race. Although looking at the photo above, it's easy to see that I am still far too heavy, something which is holding me back. Hopefully with some weight loss, I will start to get faster times.

Born 2 Run Rostrevor Trail Race

My brother actually came in 7th place, but as you can see from the picture above he is quite a bit lighter than me at the minute. What's even more annoying is the fact that he eats twice what I do, although maybe not as much chocolate and takeaways.

After finishing we made our way to the reception area to get hot coffee, very nice soup and wheaten bread. Kit-Kats, water and a banana were also provided, along with another medal to add to the collection. I may have to get a medal hanger soon..

I have now ran two races organised by Born 2 Run, and after thoroughly enjoying both of them, I've registered for the next three 10K races. This not only means that I get a slightly discounted price, but also a free t-shirt as I will have run 5 out of 6 races.

I have ordered a Medium t-shirt. It's now up to me to make it fit.

Half Marathon James


  1. Hi James loved your account of our race on Saturday and you can blame my husband Gerard for the choice of hills, although it's hard to avoid them in Kilbroney! Gosford will be a "walk in the park" after Kilbroney and we're looking forward to your next instalment. Good luck. Jane BORN2RUN TEAM

    1. Thanks Jane! A walk in the park sounds good... I was up around Castlewellan yesterday getting some training in. Is there a map of the route for the Castlewellan race, or is it being kept a secret??


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