Race report: Southampton Hosptial Charity 5k Fun Run - New Forest, May 20, 2012
On a recent family holiday at Sandy Balls in the new Forest I found it hard not to be tempted by a 5k run which started at the complex and went through some of the lovely country lanes near by.
I think the wife was convinced that I knew the race was on and had planned the weekend break in and around it, but I can assure you it was all by luck and a 5k was just what I needed to stretch my legs and hopefully have some fun.
I entered on the morning and was runner number 75 of around 100 runners, so it was a fairly low key race but still with lots of support. The race is put on by the Southampton Hospital Charity and there was a good turn out of competitors and spectators and all the organisers and volunteers were all very friendly and helpful.
The course starts outside the swimming pool at Sandy Balls, out of the main gate along a footpath and then down a country lane along side of the venue. The first 1km was pretty flat but once on the country lane it was a long decent some of which you knew you were going to have come back up on. I started the race way back in the pack but was looking to overtake and spent the first few km trying to pick up people who had gone off a bit too fast. I love hills and this course supplied a number of them so I quickly moved up into the top ten and was gunning for at least a top five finish.
Once we had come to the bottom of the first hill it was over a Ford (Which luckily had no water on it) and then straight up a long hill to a turn around point at the top. My initially overtaking had started to slow down and I know found myself transfixed with the guy in front of me and made it my mission to overtake him. On the ascent back up the hill we then turned right over a stile and then up a winding farm road, over another stile and across a farmers field and I knew this was my time to push ahead and try and catch the guy in front.
It was now that I realised the course had been quite hilly as I just couldn't find any extra speed and although I was running well I just knew the guy in front was not getting any closer and time was running out. In the last km I realised it wasn't going to be and also how much fun I had been having - a great little course and a good couple of running battles. I crossed the finished line in sixth place, which I was proud of until my wife pointed out that one of the finishers in front of me was about six years old (5k is good distance for kids!). Finishers got a medal and some water and banana for their efforts and all in this was a great little race and a great way to spend a sunday morning on holiday!
Suzie Simmons from the charity that organised the race said: "Southampton Hospital Charity would like to thank the 100 runners and walkers who took part in the 5km family fun run on Sunday 20th May, raising money for wards and departments across Southampton General Hospital and the Princess Anne Hospital. Among those who ran were patients and their families, and clinicians from the hospital. Well done to everyone who took part!"
Click here to find out more about the Southampton Hospital Charity