It was happenstance that found me on the start line of this wonderfully hilly 10K trail race in Cornwall on my ‘rest week’ prior to the Alpine adventure planned from Sunday.

I felt it prudent to check my legs were still working after week of overdosing on pop’s birthday cake and champers. Plus, I wanted to test out my new superduper drug regime sedating my nervous system and hopefully my right leg with added anti-misery side-effects (I can hear your sighs of relief)!

Alongside the blonde, bronzed and Boden-clad locals, the distinctly darker Team Homewood consisted of my sister Jo, and myself; Jo reluctantly agreed to humour me with her company as part of her training for the NY marathon in November:

Brother responded to the invitation with "I don’t do long distances Ell" and my dad deftly turned off his hearing aid, but was eventually persuaded to pose as paparazzi papa.

The trail meandered through the paths and fields of the National Trust owned Trellisick estate- wet and slippery after several days of Cornish pish. Rather overexcited on the first kilometre, I screamed around the rough cattle fields before settling into a more ladylike pace on the wooded, undulating path alongside the estuary. More or less managed to hold position for the following 8 kilometres which continued to loop and twist by the water’s edge, at one point taking us through a wee building, giving us 0.5 secs shelter from the drizzle before spitting back out into the exotic gardens.

Kilometre 9 was the sting in the tail we had been forewarned about by the conscientious organiser; an almost entirely uphill tacking slog through the trees, eventually popping us out into rough fields. Just about managed to refind my pegs for the gentle, tarmac descent to the finish line, where the sun which had been shying behind the clouds, finally decided to shine as it dropped low over the water, making the previous 47.33 minutes of slog suddenly seem worthwhile.

The almost constantly varying terrain made this both the hardest and most interesting race I had completed in a long time. I was extremely impressed/amused by the number of bright markers, marshals and water stations (even one at 8k!)- and the apologetic email of the organiser this morning for not ensuring it was even more perfect a race. These southern racers clearly have high standards!

Results prove my horrendously slow time was relative and due to the hills and mud rather than my legs being on holiday:

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