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Boconnoc 5

By Will Hancock

6th May 2012

Multi-terrain running is on the up! This year 278 runners (up from 184 last year) rose to the challenge of this 5 miler in the very scenic surroundings of the Boconnoc Estate nr Lostwithiel. Amongst them were sizeable contingents from STARC. Big thanks too to all the marshals and officials who put the race on. Bravo!

The race is run in aid of St John Ambulance and it seemed some of us would need their services if the warnings of Race Starter Paul came true! Very much aimed at the road runner the hazards consisted of an ankle deep river, tree roots and mud – sounds just up an orienteers street, that’s why I like these races!

So what was the course really like? Well having run it twice before I remembered its key features –

1. A fast downhill start!
2. Followed by a long uphill section of about a mile to Mile 2
3. A potentially muddy mid race section (true this year!)
4. A fast descent to the finish with a very short uphill to the finish line.

My favourite section this year was #3 as the recent “Cornish drought” conditions of heavy rain left the course slippery with lots of big puddles. Of course these conditions slow the fast road runners down as they try to keep their beautiful white trainers that way! It is always satisfying to overtake people in these conditions – which make up for being overtaken on subsequent uphills! Anyway I had a reasonable race despite a bit of a calf issue and was happy to finish in 36:06 having pushed hard for much of the race. I was actually 27 secs slower than last year, but I will put this down to the mud!

So all in all an enjoyable day out, and further confirmation that I greatly prefer running through mud! STARC performances of the day were Dan 2nd in 29:48, Doug an age category winner and the girls winning the 1st Team Prize, brilliant – sorry to those I have omitted! With the inclusion in the MT series the race had an added edge. It is good to see the GP frontrunners taking part (Dan et al) showing the series is not an eccentric minority interest. Who knows maybe the MT will be as popular as the Road one day? Looking forward to the next one and see you at the Club!