The Ricky Road Run is a 10 mile race around Rickmansworth and Choreleywood, organised by Affinity Water to raise money for charity, and is the second race in a month that I have done with my mum.
Since she did her first 10k last September my mum has been thinking about whether she could run a half marathon. As she has hyper-mobility syndrome she is prone to injury and has been worried about committing to a half because of this. So we thought a 10 mile race was just right to test the water. It’s pushing the mileage up from a 10k and would really give her an idea as to whether she could add an extra 3.1 miles for a half.
Since the Run With The Girls 10k at the beginning of the month my mum had been steadily increasing the miles and she got up to 8.5 miles a week before the race. I, however, hadn’t done much running at all! I’ve been co-leading the Start to Run course at my club since the end of September and hadn’t done much other running.
So on the night before the race we were both slightly nervous. My mum because she had never run more than 8.5 miles before and me because I felt a bit unprepared.
The morning of the race came and after a light breakfast of fruit toast and marmalade we were heading out the door towards the race. Rickmansworth and Chorleywood are not areas I know at all so I wasn’t sure what the route would be like. I knew it was undulating and on the road but that was it. As we drove to the start line we started seeing caution runners notices and mile markers so we got an idea of the route before we started. As we twisted up some of the small hills my mum did ask me what she had let herself in for!
We had been advised to park in the nearby streets and we found a spot quite quickly. The short walk to the start line was uphill and gave us a chance to warm up a bit. There was the inevitable queue for the toilets, which got a bit panicky when the announcer called five minutes to race time.
We headed to the back of the crowd waiting to cross the line. We didn’t really have a time in mind, although my mum had said it would be good to get under two hours, but we knew from looking at last year’s race results that most people would be in front of us. After the safety announcement, which included a warning to watch out for steam engines on their way to the local steam rally, there was a blast of the horn and we were off!
Soon as we crossed the line we were greeted by the sound of the Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop” as a two piece band sang the runners along their way. An excellent choice of starting music and led to my mum making a note to add the Ramones to her running playlist.
The race starts with a hundred or so metres of downhill running before turning left and up your first hill. At this point my mum really wondered why she had let me talk her into running this race. However, it was only a short hill and we were soon back on the flat.
The first stretch of the race was through residential streets but we soon came to more leafy streets and eventually common land. It is an undulating course, there are plenty of hills and my mum’s strategy was to run until it felt that she could walk quicker at which point we switched to walking. This seemed to work well, my mum coped with all the hills and at no point did she feel a hill get the better of her.
It is really a lovely route. I had no idea that area was so pretty as I only really knew the names of the towns from the Metropolitan tube line. One of the things I love about running races is finding new routes and seeing places from a new perspective.
The route is a circular one with a short section at mile 3 and 7 which uses the same road. We got to this part around 30 minutes into the run and were really surprised to see the lead runner approach us on the other side of the road. The speed he was running meant he would have finished in under an hour.
The race ends on some single track lanes and with 1.5 miles to go one of the marshals gave a guess at our race position and said we had to race each other to the finish. Needless to say we didn’t! Instead we carried on running together until the end.
The race finishes with a short downhill run, perfect for anyone wanting to shave off a few seconds! The band were still playing as we finished and crossed the line in 1:52:16, a great result especially as my mum’s goals were to get around the course and finish in under 2 hours!
This is a road race I would definitely recommend. There is as a mixture of country lanes, residential streets and high streets to keep things interesting, the marshals were encouraging and the route is really well marked and I found the race very friendly.