By Darrell Benge
Race #5 in the Wiltshire Off-Road league
Race report – Smartt Smasher with Darrell and Karen.
On Sunday 5th March Karen and myself travelled to Calne to run the Smartt Smasher, a 10k trail run organised by the Calne Smartt Tri club. This had been rearranged from Feb due to storm Dennis, a sensible decision after seeing the number of fallen trees along the route.
Leaving Shrewton after a quick good morning to the Sunday run gang, we arrived in good time for the well organised registration in the town hall which was busy with kids and parents preparing for a fun run. Numbers were applied to vests, chips attached to ankles and bags dropped. We had a little while to wait till race start at 11, which I used to have a bit of a warm up.
The start line was a short walk from the town hall where we gathered for the race briefing though a bit difficult to hear much at the back, where we had stationed ourselves. After a brief pause a horn signalled the race start. The route mostly followed the path of an old railway line and was wet and muddy, but still reasonably firm underfoot as long as the deep puddles were carefully avoided. The track was suitably wide enough for several runners which allowed some progress to be made through the field. The race was an out and back route generally with a gentle downhill to the turnaround at the 5k mark meaning a slight uphill for most of the way back to the finish, though I did manage a bit of a final sprint to cross the line with a new 10k PB taking just over 6.30 minutes off.
After receiving the finishers medal and getting a quick drink while waiting to cheer Karen across the line, I chatted with one of my fellow finishers from Devizes running club who had just completed his first 10k after doing couch 2 5k last year. We returned to the town hall for a well-earned coffee and some cake and a change out of our muddy footwear. A very enjoyable event, nicely organised and a lovely route with supportive marshals.
Definitely a recommendation for next year.
Race date 8th March 2020…. results