I’ve known about the Lamberhurst New Year’s Day Run for years and have always wanted to take part, but I’ve spent the last few New Year Eves away from home, so haven’t managed to… Until now.
Lamberhurst village is just ten minutes from home and the route is a 5K lap into the grounds of the National Trust’s Scotney Castle (one of my favourite local landmarks) and back again. The 10K option is two laps and the very reasonable £17 entry included a bespoke medal, chip timing, mince pie and shot of whiskey!
As it’s my ‘marathon year’ with Brighton just four months away, I chose to spend New Year’s Eve at home in my pjs, cooking nice food and drinking hot chocolate with the fireworks on TV. It was perfect actually, and meant that I woke up on Monday 1st January with a clear head and lots of energy.
I headed into Lamberhurst at 10am for a 10:30 start. There wasn’t any parking available at the Village Hall but I managed to park on the side of a nearby road. Registration tables inside the hall checked me in and provided my running number with timing chip attached. The weather was drizzly, grey and miserable, and was forecast to rain heavily. I wore brand new Karrimor running leggings, Brooks Glycerin 14 trainers with black 1000 Mile trainer socks, black Karrimor base layer, London Marathon rejection jacket and Tunbridge Wells Harriers vest: a super comfortable outfit and my first event running as part of the Harriers club. EXCITING! 🙂
Everyone set off at the same time, with no timing funnels or separation between 5K and 10K runners. This still worked well and there were no major bottlenecks or frustrations. The marshals were super friendly, there were supporters throughout the course, and there was clear signage en route. I got chatting to a lovely man from Folkestone runners who was a total delight and was shouting ‘good luck’ and positive words to every runner he passed – I love people like that!!
This was a ‘no headphones’ event with the strict threat of disqualification, so for the first time ever I left my headphones at home and embraced the sound of my horrible asthmatic breathing, which was a bit off-putting and not something I’d like to repeat.
Just after setting off, the heavens opened and it poured down. The rain continued steadily throughout the duration of the run and I was DRENCHED – seriously soaking. There wasn’t a dry part of me! I don’t think I’ve ever completed a running event in heavy rain before, so it was certainly different!
I should have looked at the profile before taking part, as it would have prepared me… I swear the route was 90% hills and they were SEVERE! It was like the Tunbridge Wells half marathon all over again!! I wasn’t expecting that but still managed to run the whole way without dropping too much of a pace and was super pleased with myself, ending with a burst of energy and a sprint finish. Felt amazing! I ended up being the first female in my age category and the 13th female to finish overall. Not bad!!
The finish line had a lovely atmosphere with supporters and bespoke medals being handed out. I collected a mince pie and shot of whiskey from inside the Village Hall and went home totally drenched but feeling fantastic.
The Lamberhurst New Year’s Day Run route was brutal and the weather was vile, but I loved it and would definitely recommend it and return in future. 🙂
NEXT UP – London Winter Walk (20K), Sunday 14 January 2018