WESTONBIRT HOUSE 10KM 2017
Westonbirt House Summer 10km, complete with the hashtag #finishinthe bar is an evening Friday run based at the beautiful Westonbirt House.
Online entry price: £20.00 Attached, £22.00 Unattached you could also upgrade your entry to #finishinthebar for an extra £7. Options are as follows:
#finishinthebar – beer and a burger
#finishinthebar – glass of wine and a burger
#finishinthebar – mini bottle of prosecco and a burger updgrade
(these options included a veggie burger and cider aswell)
The route involves 2 laps of the surrounding roads, which finish directly in front of the stately home and allows you to run through the gardens at the halfway point.
The starting line is placed on the left hand side of the house, met in the correct light is beautiful as it was for us in the evening sun.
This route follows around to the surrounding country road which loops around and comes back into the house gardens on the other side. This road covers distance 1km-4km with the 5km mark being in the gardens and then you lap around to complete the 6km-9km loops before you head into the finish.
The country roads were fairly hilly, the best way to describe it was gradual hills rather than obviously steep ones. The first hill about 1.5km was slow and gradual, so much so that I didn’t notice it, however by the 6km, I definitely noticed it. I thought it was going to be quite a flat course on the surrounding roads however it wasn’t, I heard a few comments from fellow runners “forgetting how hilly this route was”. I go on about hills just because personally I hate them, however I don’t feel like I struggled with them. I feel this would be a good route for beginners to practise their hill work on as they are were gradual – apart from the last one going down into the village just at 4/9km, this was a lovely downhill that you could really build your pace on before turning the corner onto the home straight. I was overtaken by a lot of people on this bit even though I felt like I was sprinting down this hill!
Although you are met with the slow rolling hills, you get to see bits of the countryside and the sweet houses in the surrounding villages. Parts of this were covered by bushes so you didn’t get amazing views whilst out on the road compared to when you were in the gardens. What comes with the countryside is also the smell of manure! A lovely smell followed you around the roads so just beware if you are pushing yourself really hard and smell that, your stomach may not cooperate! (I can’t say this is what it is like all the time, just this occasion I ran the race).
Between 4-5km you run through the gardens, this is also a change of terrain from road to grass. Just prepare yourself for the sudden change into the lovely gardens. This is also where the spectators meet you as they fill the lines of the path cheering you on.
You head around into the gardens and pass the fountain where you turn left to go into the finish or carry on going for your second lap. I do distinctly remember just heading onto my second lap and hearing “here’s the first runner coming in to finish”. I was thankful that they hadn’t caught up to me to lap me yet! After the fountain you are hit by a sharp incline (maybe about 1 metre long) where I would recommend just sprinting as hard and fast as you can to get up otherwise you will lose stamina.
You then find yourself at the 5km mark in the lovely gardens, full with blooming flowers, intricate designs of bushes and arcs of plants. I even got my phone out to take a picture as I crossed the 5km timer but unfortunately running and taking photos usually come out blurry!
Coming into the gardens, it’s a thin path that only 1 person can get through at a time. If you get lapped as you are coming in, this may cause some problems with traffic and runners.
The finishing straight is awesome, it’s definitely one of the best finishes I have had in a race for a long time. You run up the stairs (several sets, maybe 4-5) and up into the finish with the house sat watching over the event at the top.
The race starts at 19:30 and allowed competitors plenty of time to get to the race venue after work. The atmosphere was great at the start with plenty of music, crowds and announcements.
You have access to the house and gardens before and after the race, if you arrived earlier in the day, you had plenty of time to explore the stunning house and gardens.
With your entry you get:
• Chip timing.
• Distance markers every km.
• Medal for all finishers, with optional iTaB.
• Results screens and Results Print Outs.
• On-site catering and bar.
• On-site toilets and showers.
• Race Photography (you have to pay for)
When the race started there was plenty of spectators giving encouragement, and a nice way to start the race. The starting funnel was a little bit small but once you got through and into the race it was good.
There were marshals almost everywhere on the route, even bits that didn’t need them for directions, there was someone placed to shout encouragement. The marshals were great, I really felt like they actually cared about you finishing this race.
I ran mostly by myself for the race (as everyone had already run past me!) but I was up and down the route with one lady. When it came to the flats, I was ahead and when it came to the downhill’s she came sprinting past me. It was actually really nice because we ran most of the race together; we spurred each other on as we kept catching up to each other. It always amazes me to see how friendly and encouraging other runners can be; I think all runners should go out with that mind-set!
The finish was definitely the best part. This was the best finish I have completed in such a long time! As you sprint up the stairs, which are overlooked by the house, you are met with all the spectators cheering you on. It’s such a dramatic finish, and most encouraging. When you get to the bottom, you can hear all the other runners saying, “let’s do this”, you feel like you need to prove it to everyone that you can get up those stairs!
They read off your number and name as you come over the finish, which again is really great. Some races don’t do announcements or just pick certain people; DBMax read the names out one by one.
By far my favourite part was the goodies at the finish! There was such a good selection, gummy worms, jellybeans, flapjacks (3 different types of flapjacks) and vegan treats as well! Obviously I went straight for the gummy worms. I was a bit side-tracked by going to say well done to the lady I had run most of the race with, as I would have taken more!
The highlight for me was once it had all calmed down and they were starting to pack everything away, after we had grabbed our burgers (veggie for me) and ciders, we stood with the crew watching Mo Farah win his 10,000m race. There were staff members, runners and even two little dogs watching this final and the atmosphere was great, it had just been such a great evening and to top it off with everyone cheering and celebrating was a great way to end the race.
This event was a very well run event, I would happily run another race with DBmax, and I would potentially do the winter version, and beat my previous time and those hills!
PB for 10km: 1:07
Time for Westonbirt: 1:09