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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!
Tracie