by Karen Warlow

“Mud, mud, glorious mud.

Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood!

So follow me, follow. Down to the hollow.

And there let us wallow in glorious mud!”

(“The Hippopotamus Song” by Flanders and Swann)

  And that’s what the CF64 Winter Race gives over and over again! The “Magnificent Seven” from WRP all arrived early as, with 300 people expected, the car park was likely to be busy. Number collection was well organised, with plenty of people manning the tent, and pens and pins aplenty!

‘The Magnificent Seven’

The route started on the posh new tarmac of Cosmeston to warm you up, before taking a right through a gate into mud, mud and more mud! Before you know it you are plodding along, doubling back and forth, until your bearings and worries re your new clean trail shoes and white under armour (bad choice!) fade into insignificance.   Each luminous large mile marker passed by in a haze of slow shuffling, and picking your way through the mud, grass and “Wardy’s Water” (aka Jeanette’s puddle which seemed so much deeper the second time!!!???)  My core was tested to its limits, as my legs tried time and time again to do the splits on the slippery course, and let’s face it, I couldn’t do them at age 11, never mind at 50! There were challenging uphills aplenty, and some very slippery downhills -always accompanied by one of those friendly marshals (some with camera at the ready!) The miles passed by in a blur and, before we knew it, we were back on that posh tarmac heading for the finish line! Each of the numerous race marshals was encouraging, smiley and, for once, seemed happy to be there – mind you, I did know quite a few of them!!! Definitely win “Marshals of The Year” in my book (yes, I know it’s only January!). As Marshal C commented “all this for a bottle of water and a banana” and, sure enough, we were welcomed by a lady bearing these as we crossed the line! Well done Penarth & Dinas Runners on a great race, crazy route and a fab start to the New Year – all for the bargain price of £8. See you next year!!!!!   Muddy photo credit: P&D Runners