Sarah Ward and husband Ivan Ward took advantage of a trip to her hometown of Stafford by taking part in the inaugural running of this event nearby in the forests of Cannock Chase.
“Cannock has a special place in our hearts as we used to walk our dog Max there” says Sarah
With 2 distances on offer, (also a 10k), the event sold out quickly with some 700 runners keen to explore the trails in full Autumnal bloom.
Despite some pretty apocalyptic weather causing travel chaos the day before, the sky was blue as team Ward lined up just in the nick of time for the kick off.
“There were loads of road closures due to flooding in the area. We only just made it!”
They set out from Penkridge Road on their 2 lap journey into the muddy, leafy, enclaves of the Forest. The single track made the first few miles hard going especially with the 10k runners setting off at the same time, but as the field stretched out a bit, team Ward got into their stride.
The course was challenging with copious undulation and treacherous conditions underfoot. However the glorious display of Autumn colour more than made up for it as the trees shone resplendently in the sunshine.
“I felt better in the 2nd lap” said Sarah “although you did know that the hills were coming”
They did brilliantly in the conditions with Sarah completing in 2.08.32, taking 3rd in her age category and Ivan not too far behind in 2.16.02.