I always lay out my kit beforehand, it makes for an easier morning, a more organised brain and a less hectic process. I played guitar for Sid Batham (check him out, trust me) at Brighton’s The Great Escape festival last night, returned home, rechecked my kit and crawled into bed, ears ringing at 2am. My brain is programmed to wake up at 6am (flipping 3-year-old) so 4 hours sleep is all I managed but I didn’t care, I was too excited to get up, get to Leatherhead, meet some like-minded trail running nuts, and get out of my comfort zone.
A community of runners embracing the wild nature and freedom through trail and ultra running.
Missed my turn-off from the M25 but got to Leatherhead a little early and didn’t see anyone around – That’s fine, I was early. 10:03am and still no runners, I was the wrong side of the station. Duh.
Right, introductions, chit chat, watches, goal races, all that good stuff. And then we set off at an easy pace for 13 of the most glorious miles of this year – the sun was out, the trails were beautiful, and the company was awesome. WTR is made up of people from all over the place, they come together and embrace the wild by swapping the pavement for the trails, and by swapping traffic lights for swinging wooden gates. Everyone was happy, everyone was chatty and everyone was welcoming.
We killed the hills together, we enjoyed the downhills together, we photographed the views together and, eventually, we braved the rain together on the return journey. I met a fellow musician who had similar music tastes – we chatted about bands we had been listening to recently, I met a former BBC radio producer who now runs a project consultancy and A&R business, I chatted with the fastest guy, and a slower girl, I attacked the hills, relaxed on the flats, and loved every minute.
It was 50% of my monthly Everest Challenge – only 1,200ft of elevation – yum. The dips in the below graph and when we stopped as a group and I forgot to stop my watch.
Yeah, I’ll definitely be back. WTR for life.