WESTONBIRT HOUSE SUMMER 10K 2018
Looking up at the sky during the warm up – there was danger of a downpour coming to ruin the event. The grey clouds subsided by the time we were running over the start line.
It turned into a beautiful evening for running, perfect for PB’s and having a run around the gardens.
Westonbirt House 10k is a race for all abilities, perfect for those running their first 10k or for those looking for a new time.
With a 19:30 start, you have plenty of time to get to the race on the Friday evening. You have the chance to explore the gardens which are open throughout the whole evening, allowing spectators to walk around.
The atmosphere was building up with the warm up going ahead & the pacers joining in. There was plenty of music, food & running vendors that really gave you a feel for the event.
With your race entry you get:
• Chip timing. • Distance markers every km. • Medal for all finishers, with optional iTaB. • Live Results screens and Results Print Outs. • Food & bar • On-site toilets and showers. • Race Photography (to be purchased later)
With a prompt start, the pacers were announced and runners followed behind them. I was pleasantly surprised to see a 70 minute pacer, usually us more gentle runners are forgotten about and anything past 60 minutes never have a pacer. So to go to an event that has a pacer every 5 minutes up to 70 minutes was a nice addition.
When the race started there was plenty of spectators giving encouragement along the way, until you get out of the grounds where you are on country roads before looping back into the gardens.
DBMax events are always well marshalled & well signed. There’s no way you can ever get lost or feel like there isn’t enough encouragement even when the spectators had filed out. They always so lovely to have on the route & really push you on to keep running.
Entry to the event will cost £20.00 Attached, £22.00 Unattached. You can also upgrade your entry to #finishinthebar… with the following options:
- #finishinthebar – beer and a burger
- #finishinthebar – glass of wine and a burger
- #finishinthebar – mini bottle of prosecco and a burger
- #finishinthebar vegan option- beer or glass of wine or mini bottle of prosecco and a Glamorgan Sausage with Sweet Potato Chips
Although I didn’t manage to get my drink as by the time I had gone on my cool down run & did my stretches, they were packing away – I did get a few sips of the cider from a friend, and boy, it was a good way to finish the race!
The event is based at the beautiful Westonbirt House, including a finish directly in front of the stunning stately home.
The route involves 2 laps of the surrounding roads & the house gardens. You follow the surrounding country roads & loop back into the gardens. The 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 road starts with a gradual hill. It feels like it goes on for a few miles, but in reality it’s a bout half a mile worth of gradual hill. On the first loop you don’t notice, but by the time the second loop comes, you definitely can feel it on your legs. At the 4/9km mark, you have a great downhill section going into the village. This is a great bit to catch up on that pace and overtake a few before you hit the gardens.
Between 4-5km you run through the gardens, which changes from road terrain to grass. Just prepare yourself for the terrain change as it becomes slowly uphill and it a bit harder on your feet. Coming through the gate, 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.
In the gardens there are many spectators & marshalls cheering you on. It gives you a boost for your halfway or your finish. Theres a fountain that you either turn left and go to the finish or continue on to your second lap. There are two sharp inclines that follow the fountain, up a grass verge, so get ready to sprint hard and not to lose your stamina!
The 5km mark is through the gardens on a pebbled path before you wind your way through the trees and out on to the road again. You complete your second lap on the same route but at the fountain, you turn left & head up to the finish.
The finishing straight is quite fun & different to most races. You run up the stairs (several sets, maybe 4-5) and up into the finish with the house towering over the event village.
This was my second time running this race, and so I knew what to expect when it came to the course.
I was running this event with my in-laws – both faster than me. Karen decided to run with me for this event. If I’m being honest, I felt more confident for this event, strong in my legs & I just wanted to go out there and get over the finish line. As part of my training plan, I needed to get to 12k anyway and so I didn’t want to push it too hard for this event.
We set off and for the first mile, I knew I was going too fast. It always happens, you get caught up in the atmosphere. We managed to get through the first lap, overtaking some one the run down the hill into the gardens. As we headed into the gardens, running on grass usually slows me down a little bit, and you can tell by my splits that it was. We ran around the fountains and up the short steep slopes past the halfway point. Last year, when we ran past the finish, there were announcements that the winners were coming in, this year, we managed to get through without them coming to catch us up!
As we headed onto our second lap, we were met by the hill & started to slow down. Hills are always a killer for me, and so I slowed down quite a bit as we slowly climbed this mile. Once we made that turn at the top, I could feel myself getting tired. I was trying to keep up with Karen and not slow down, at the same time, I felt like I could go faster – but knowing there was still 2 miles to go, I held back.
Running in to the gardens, I knew it was just the hill, fountain and stairs to the finish. I started pushing to get to the stairs. I believe it’s 5 sets, but even just sprinting up 2 sets are a killer. I love my sprint finishes but having the stairs for the last part, can really hit your legs! We started sprinting up the stairs & came over the finish line with a new PB for me!!
Tip of the day – if you can’t have what’s on offer at the finish, ask for the vegan options. Tell them that there is vegan options, it may be in a small box under the table but DBMax supply vegan options for runners.
I really enjoyed that race, I felt like I had pushed myself and maybe if it was a bit more flat, I could have pushed harder to take some more time off of my PB.
DBMax always put on great events. You can’t fault them for the organisation & atmosphere of their races.
Westonbirt House Summer 10k is definitely an event that everyone should go to. It’s great for experienced runners, beginner runners, everyone. With a beautiful evening, it’s a great way to see the gardens, get yourself a PB & enjoy a beer in the bar.
Head over to DBMax’s website for future events!