Equinox is a staple event in the East Midlands and one I’ve been meaning to take part in for a few years now. So when my new running club had places I thought, why not!
I’m not in any way a camper – this was going to be my fourth camping experience ar 29! So, what did I do … I decided to camp two nights instead of just the one. I had the sleeping bag but had to get my hands on a tent (a bargain £14.99 from Aldi) along with a decent headtorch (£9.99 from Lidl) and enough snacks to get me through a weekend.
It took a little longer than expected to arrive at Belvior Castle – I went straight from work which meant traffic and more traffic but at least it was still daylight so I could set-up camp.
My delightful pop-up tent literally popped up and I made my bed before settling down with a cider in front of the fire to the most amazing sunset over the castle.
Grabbed sausage and chips from one of the food vans for dinner, a drink at the bar and watched the band before catching some z’s ahead of Saturday.
After a pretty decent sleep (bar needing the toilet at silly o’clock and not wanting to get out of the warmth) I was up pretty early and off-camp to take part in Belton House parkrun – a National Trust site just under half an hour away. When I arrived back to camp at 10.15, it was buzzing with more of the team joining. We two large teams of eight and one small team of five so there were plenty of us F&Kers around.
The start of the event was at 12 so we gathered for the briefing and watched our first runners set off. Then the waiting game began for my first run at 2pm. My biggest worry about the event was food. When and what to eat. Playing it safe I grabbed a porridge pot and a banana and prayed that it would sit ok.
Nearing the start of my first lap, it was hot! I was excited but also nervous due to the heat, so took water with me. Handover done and I was off. After a minor watch malfunction – without even leaving the campsite – I headed off on to the first part of the course around a field. It’s fair to say I wasn’t loving life on the field and was looking forward to getting off. Little did I know what was about to hit me …
Not That Hill.
Not that what? A long neverending incline and that’s not that hill? I walked most of it – partly because it was long, also because it was so hot. The water station was perfectly placed at the top of not that hill – super lively with music and amazing marshals handing out drinks. Back on to a field and all of a sudden it was like we were dropping off the face of the earth. So this was the downhill section of That Hill.
I ran/walked my way down – wary of the steepness. I eventually went down to a walk when I overheard someone say ‘I’ll shatter my knee if I run all the way.’ It’s fair to say I was put off running down That Hill.
That Hill was upon me and oh it was a struggle, somehow I made it. I still don’t really know-how. At the time I couldn’t imagine getting up there again. And there were people doing this over and over and over again?!
The route looped around to the start and I was glad to arrive back into the field for the last kilometer.
First lap completed 01.06.22.
Chicken curry and noodles devoured I headed back to my very hot tent at this point and got my head down for a short time.