Race Report – Tracie (12 Hour)

Suffolk Trail Festival held at High Lodge, Thetford.

Let’s start by saying, I do not do festivals, or crowds, or people in general BUT, big but, the weekend was one of the most well organised and supportive weekends worth of running/camping/peopling I’ve had. A well-oiled machine you could say. All thanks go to the organisers and volunteers as the effort and time that goes into putting this on, I can only imagine! I enjoyed it immensely – my legs not so much, but you get the picture!
Now to the race itself. I’d signed up for the 12hr. I had two targets in my head, one I’d would be content with and one I’d be ecstatic with. I completely put that part to one side because things can change rather rapidly. Imposter syndrome was starting to rear its unwelcome head. I had no right to be here. Calm down woman! Of course, as night follows day, I went out much quicker than planned and kept reminding myself to slow the f..k up! Half a mile in and gravity decided to help me out and, despite having a headtorch brighter than the sun, I fell over. After a word with myself, I slowed. It was fantastic running through the forest at night and was marginally cooler than the day though I still looked like I’d had a bucket of water thrown over me due to the surprising humidity. The first 4 laps went by without issue and my next lap would be marathon distance, or thereabouts. Lap 6 I decided to listen to the Ricky Gervais show podcast to help me along, however I was so engrossed I missed a sign and went heading off up the trail. After a while I saw a pile of horse droppings and couldn’t recalled seeing any horses in the vicinity. I had to get Viewranger out. What a silly sausage I said, or words to that effect. Anyway, found my way back and continued. The legs not as happy as they were at this point as I was definitely starting a walk/run pattern rather than run/walk. Back to camp at 30 miles and I treated myself to a proper sit down and really was happy to stop altogether. I was content with that, but there’s nothing like emotional blackmail and lots of swearing to get you going again. I fast walked, my forte, the 7th lap. Again ready to stop. Nope, more blackmail and enough time to ‘leisurely’ walk the 8th lap. I knew I was always going to run over the finish – it’s got to be done. I did it. My ecstatic target of 40 miles. I was done, and emotional.
Would I recommend Suffolk Trail Festival? You bet I do. You really can do more than you think. The atmosphere and support from other runners and the STF team is second to none. I may never see the majority of them again but that weekend they felt like best friends. I hope I do meet them again. Oh, and can the mobile pizza van come to my house every night?
Thanks again, all the team at Raw Trails. Can’t wait for the next one!