With the Stinger being a relatively local race I woke as dawn cracked and drove down to the grammar school in the middle of the village of Steyning where the event organised by Steyning Athletic Club has its base, registered and changed for the off in plenty of time.
It seemed a bit busier than the previous time here with everyone milling-around through registration, although when I crossed the road in to the field ready for the official start, I could see a crowd of runners already heading-off in to the distance who formed the early start of the race for the slower runners.
|All calm before the storm.|
|Climbing up to the top of the downs.|
|Sheep no doubt thinking we're baa-rmy.|
I understood what the guy was going through as the previous day I had set my parkrun PB running with Spud only to feel my hamstring tighten-up in the process within the first hundred metres of the mad dash off the start line… So here this morning I was acutely aware of managing the strain and not letting it develop in to a proper pull and seeing the poor chap was a cautionary tale for me about taking it easy.
On to the tarmac for a short while, we plodded along uphill until we hit the turn on to the trails and the mud with the trek and climb up on to the South Downs and the fabulous views from on top.
|North to Surrey...|
|... and south to the sea.|
It didn’t seem too long until I was running past Chanctonbury Ring, mercifully not as cold as before where the wind and an overcast sky really bit in to you back then, before heading south to Cissbury Ring and doing the loop passing the golf course overlooking Wareham before the lonely drag of the next loop of Steep Down.
|Sauntering up to the ring.|
|North from the ring.|
|Last views of the channel before turning for home.|
With my gammy hammy I had to reign myself in at times when I felt I could have pushed harder - which did me another favour in preventing me from ‘blowing-up’ by going too hard or too fast so hopefully led to a better more even pace throughout my escapade that brought me home 8 minutes faster than before in 106/192 finishers…
|What we run this race for!|