Maverick Trail Run, Sussex Series

On Saturday I ran my first ever trail run race! It was part of the Maverick Run Series and I seriously loved it! 

Trail running, what's the sitch? Also called fell running, it's running or walking over trails and terrain that isn't tarmac. It can be gravel, dirt paths, fields and the ascents and descents can be a lot greater than usual pavement runs. (Anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!) It's muddy and messy but very fun.

Let me get a few things straight from the get go- I don't like being dirty or cold. I like my trainers to look like they do in the shop and I'm not really one for running through puddles and having mud sprayed up my legs. At the start, looking around, I felt so out of place. It's fair to say, almost everyone looked like they had run a trail run before and therefore had all the gear; trail shoes, leggings, gilets, headbands and backpacks for water/gels and a rain coat. And of course as usual, I was the only non white person around, *eye roll*.

I am a confident person and I try not to let things like that affect me but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't hard. I felt under prepared and ill-equipped. I wore the jumper I'd gone in as it was really cold as well! I know how to run, I told myself and I was with my friend Kieran so I knew he'd look after me. Sometimes it's a case of block out the noise and get on with it.

Running through the woods and over the hills was surprisingly fun. I can see why people love it more than road running. the scenery was beautiful on the South Downs and having a non traditional path to follow stopped me from tuning out which I usually do and kept me focused and interested. I actually didn't mind getting a little dirty but there were some parts that were just ridiculous. Luckily my lovely Kieran gave me a piggy back through one bit that looked like a black hole of mud and boggy doom.

I'd definitely like to do more trail runs, maybe not such muddy ones next time as my shoes were trashed after. The feeling of stepping in a puddle which is much deeper than you think and having your shoe fill with cold water is not one I relish! I don't think you need all the gear as a beginner but I might buy a water bottle that I can hold whilst running as I had to wait for the one and only aid station 9km in for a little sip of water!

Overall I ran the 16km in 1hr 49 and came 32/76 women with an additional 10 women not finishing!

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