Found a write-up I did on the Paras 10, so with my newly acquired "copy & paste" skills, thought I'd post it on here.
The race is 10 miles, run over the actual Parachute Regiment course at Catterick Garrison.
There is the "P Company" race, done with a 35lb bergen & boots, & the runners race, with no bergen.
The "pass" time for the Paras is 1 hour 50, so this is the time I'm aiming for next year.
I trained like mad with a bergen, then broke my wrist & fractured my hip before the race, so had to just do the runners race.
PARAS 10 - The Ultimate In 10 Mile Endurance Races
My Paras 10 race. Sept 14 08.
I arrived early, 7.30am, & was directed to a car park by a couple of rather gorgeous Para recruits who called me "ma'am"!!
Entering Catterick Garrison for the first time is quite intimidating.
It's very bleak, a bit like a concentration camp, with barbed wire everywhere.
I could well imagine how overwhelmed a nervous young new recruit might feel coming here to start training, having maybe never been away from home before.
The weather was perfect. Dull, warm, but not too hot, with no wind or rain.
If you enter by post, there's no need to register on arrival, so I killed time by nattering to some of the other girls.
Everyone seemed very relaxed & chatty as they got their bergens weighed & warmed up.
At around 10am we were called to the start, & the announcer gave us a few instructions & organised a quick aerobics session to get us in the mood.
The runners race started first, followed by the P Company/bergen racers 3 minutes later.
For me, the first 10 minutes were the worst. I suddenly felt really sick & lightheaded......think I'd taken too many painkillers......
I was walking after about 5 minutes.....
But I soon perked up, & injuries, although annoying, weren't going to stop me from completing the race, however slowly.
I was surprised the ground was so firm. I'd expected boggy grass & deep mud, but most of it was a gravel path, with a couple of streams to cross.
The hills weren't too bad, though the one at the end is STEEP!!
Really doesn't matter though, because as soon as you see that bugger looming, you know you're nearly home.
The course was marshalled by Para recruits, showing the way, shouting encouragement, & probably chuckling to themselves about how rubbish civvies are......
I spoke to a few afterwards, & they were about to do P Company. (The tests to become a Para.)
At the 5 mile mark we looped round a really nice lake.
As I came down the far side I could see that there were actually loads of people behind me. Now that's a novelty for me! In all the fell races I've done in preparation for this, I've never seen anyone behind me......I'm always last!
As you finish the lake section you head up a hill to be greeted by a race photographer at the top to capture your pain on camera......
Everyone seemed like they were having a great time, & I chatted to loads of people on the way round. We obviously weren't trying hard enough if we had enough energy to talk....
After the last hill you can basically try & leg it all the way in from there, as it's virtually flat/downhill most of the last mile.
Hearing the muffled sounds of the announcer over the PA system in the distance is great, as you know you're nearly back to the field in the Garrison where you started, & the finish line.
As I ran the last 50 meters to people clapping, I didn't feel anything other than disappointment really, as I wasn't doing the race I wanted to do, in the time I'd hoped for.
It made me realise how much I wanted to do the P Company race next time, & how hungry I was for 1 hour 50.
At the end I collected my medal & T-shirt, then just chilled for a bit nattering to people, & watched prize giving.
The results were posted in the sports hall, & we gathered round them wondering how the hell someone managed 1 hour 17 to win the P Company race.
It would have been interesting to see on the results who was serving/former serving, & who was a civvie, but there was no way of telling most of the time.
I do hope lots of civvies managed 1 hour 50!!
On the way home I was happily driving down the A59 to Skipton when my car made the most horrible noise, & ground to a halt on a dangerous blind bend.....
Two hours later I was on the back of an AA tow truck, facing a bill for a new drive shaft. (Well at least it saved me the petrol home...... )
I can't wait for next years race. September 13, 2009, Catterick Garrison.
Hope to see some of you there!!
Info on........ PARAS 10 - The Ultimate In 10 Mile Endurance Races
(With a link to race results & photos)