Wow, I never knew Slough had it in it, but this is an excellent area, both for orienteering and as a general place to walk around in and enjoy. Black Park Country Park is bordered by the Pinewood Studios and as such has been the backdrop for numerous films and TV series – the most recent being Henry VIII (or so I’m told.)
This was my first race after I suffered a slight mishap on my bike – damaging my little finger. However it was the antibiotic that really knocked me out, leaving me seriously week and unable to bike, let along run, for several weeks. So, I wasn’t expecting a great time at Black Park. It was also pretty warm – never ideal for me.
Once again, my three-week spell off affected my race both physically and technically. Black Park is actually physically extremely easy, being both flat and with little serious undergrowth – a real treat for southern England in June! Add to that a complex and confusing path network and you have the makings of a great race.
My time – 84:34 for the 8.7km Brown course (compared with 53:22 for the winner) was disappointing, even in my weak state, mainly because I made two really bad technical mistakes. Ending up 24th out of 35th completers (+3 non-finishers) I made a serious error near No. 1 (a very technical approach and I hadn’t mentally “warmed up”) and near No. 16 (a real bingo control though and poor mapping.) The combination of these two mistakes wasted me 10-12 minutes. Still, there were some great legs on this course, a pleasure to run on, and a real gem of summer running.