Nina Jensen took part in this inaugural run at one of Northumberland’s more unusual tourist spots and sent this report:
The warmer weather we were promised this weekend did not materialise so after a 7 mile bike ride into the wind towards Northumberlandia for the inaugural 5k, I was feeling a bit tired. Organised by local running shop Ultra Runner, the route I had been sent earlier in the week was confusing so I hoped it was going to become clearer on site. The race was delayed slightly as Tony the organiser explained that although he had tape marked the route last night, unfortunately the howling gales had put pay to that so marshals had been out to re tape the site.
I knew I would have a few runners ahead of me so hoped I could follow them and the marshals instructions to get round. We were advised that if we did go the wrong way, eventually we would know as we would come across routes blocked by tape. As a previous winner of the Claremont Navigator of the Year award, I wasn’t sure whether I would make it back to the finish or be found 3 days later still running around the site.
The race started with a loop around the base of the land sculpture then we turned and climbed the first short ramp into the paths that weave in and around her.
Twisting and turning around the route with some fast downhill sections as well as some steep uphill climbs. As I ran the route I could see runners ahead and behind although at some points I had no idea which was which.
Finally we descended back onto the path that looped back around the side of the sculpture and towards the finish. As this point it was back into the wind again. The marshal shouted encouragement (well at least I think it was although with the wind roaring around my ears she could have been shouting insults!).
A very tall runner who had been behind me all race overtook me at that point as I struggled to breathe and see with the wind directly in my face. I tried to tuck in behind him but his long legs got the better of me and he beat me by a good few seconds over the line.
All in all an enjoyable experience and definitely one I’d do again.