The 30 minute challenge is probably my favourite OSR event, & here’s why
Its totally personal to you – run as far or as fast as you like, no one is judging
The variety of courses – we’ve run 6 different courses now (and by the way I am finding it harder to come up with new options, so if you have any please shout – although the Romsey Road bridge re-opening gives me a couple of new options). Thank you Eddie for suggesting this route.
It messes with my mind – Obviously I want to run as far as I can, but I also need to get back inside 30 minutes, how much confidence do you have in yourself to turn after 15 minutes and have you correctly judged whether (& by how much) the course is faster in either direction.
Pacing – Its great pacing practice – if you run consistently, turn on 15:00 then you should make it back – simples!
Fine Margins – Success and failure are literally 1 second apart.
Today’s 30 minute challenge had 6 runners, including debutants Ray Marr and Siobhain Ryan, who kindly helped out as our starter and timer. The route was a new one too – sort of an amalgamation of the handicap, beginners loop and Dairy Lane – although it would take some serious ambition/confidence/recklessness for anyone to push onto Dairy Lane before turning around
2.8 miles to the end of Dairy Lane (2.1m to top of the path)
Andrew set a blistering pace from the start and soon was a dot on the horizon, maybe a serious incursion onto Dairy Lane was an option. However, following some knee pain he turned around early (13:30 at the 4 Horseshoes), leaving me (Matt) to wonder how far to go before turning and dashing for home. I decided it would be nice to go through the first tunnel under the roundabout & touched the lamppost on the other side at 15:15 – giving myself 30secs less time to get back – but from the top of Nursling Street it’s downhill, so I didn’t feel I’d left myself too much to do.
Looking at other runners, James turned near Nursling School, Mark between the traffic lights and Co-Op (after 14:40), Ray midway between Co-Op and School (after 13:00) and Peter near the 4 * 4 garage on Romsey Road.
Ray’s early turn gave him the opportunity to do a lap of OS building on the way back (technically not allowed in the rules, but as a 1st timer he’s forgiven), but unfortunately he under estimated how long that would take and finished just 8 seconds outside the 30:00 limit. He was joined in the ‘didn’t make it group’ by Peter. Andrew was first back in 26:44, while I was the final finisher inside the time limit (29:46) and thanks to Andrew turning early, gave me the ‘distance win’, although his average pace was considerably faster than mine. He also managed to record a distance PB for the challenge, one I feel that has some more to improve given an extra 3 minutes + of running.
As I approached the finish, it was great to see Ian Robinson out taking photo’s – he’s been unwell since Christmas and it was brilliant to see him back at work, supporting OSR and hopefully in the not too distant future, running with us again.