SIx NRR made the trip to Aylsham for this year's Chase the Train, which finally took place on Sunday 10/10/2021 after three Covid-related cancellations. Most of us had forgotten we ever entered, so it was a nice surprise to get an email telling us how to collect our race numbers.
For those who aren't familiar with it, this is a small event - limited to 200 people - with the fun premise of running the length of the Bure Valley Railway from Aylsham to Wroxham. The aim is to get there in time to catch the train back to the start. In reality - with the train departing two hours after the race begins - this was never a tall order, even for those of us who "forgot" to do any training.
The race is the unusual distance of 8.89 miles - or as I insisted on telling myself in the build up "less than nine miles". Conditions at the start were pretty dank but thankfully it brightened up pretty quickly resulting in a pleasant run.
The track is narrow making overtaking opportunities limited but also providing a constant impetus to keep going, for fear of slowing down those trapped behind you. It also provides a convenient excuse for insisting "I could have knocked two minutes off that" once you get to the end. I convinced myself it was mostly uphill. Strava disagrees.
Our first finisher was Joanna Killingworth, coming in 36th place. She was also a strong contender for the least flattering finish line picture award (I won't post it but some of you may succeed in looking it up...)
Most of us felt happy with our times and glad to be back at a proper event after this year's pretty limited race calendar.
If you've not done it, this is definitely an event worth looking for next year. It's small, friendly, quirky and a really beautiful run with just enough challenge to keep it interesting.