Thurstaston Multi-Terrain, Monday 3rd July, 5.9 miles, 19/52 miles
So, the day after the Southport Half Marathon, the next stage was a challenging (for me!) multi-terrain race on the Wirral. I have done some off-road races and of course cross country, but it has never been my forte. I was targeting stage 3 for a potential PB so decided to just enjoy it.
The race uses a similar route to the Thurstaston race ran by Steve Saunders in September as part of the Wirral multi-terrain series. Getting over to the Wirral for 7pm after work has always been a bit of a challenge so I’ve never actually made it to any of those races.
The first 2 miles of it are along the beach. Running on sand is HARD! So hard! Then, once you get off the beach, you start a long incline towards Heswall Park. As you can see by my pacing, I took it very easy here!
Finally, the downhill comes! Still, descending can be very tricky, especially with so many tree roots and rocks along the way. I am not made for off road running at all. Once you get out of the park, you return to the Wirral Way which is a disused railway line that takes you back towards the Wirral County Park. Here is where I felt so much more comfortable and managed to run the last mile in 8.25!
I finished in just under an hour and decided that I am not cut out for off-road running! I did enjoy it in parts, but I’m just too cautious at uphills and descents, plus it uses dramatically different muscles in your legs. A few friends who got good results said they do a lot of strength work focusing so are probably more suited to it physically.
I really enjoy that feeling of getting stuck into a steady pace along a flat road though, so the tarmac I guess it is for me!
I may try a few more trail races just for fun and variation, but it isn’t my favourite style of race. A good thing about the tour is the variety of the races and how much you learn about yourself as a runner throughout the week.