Three events over the two days of the weekend: do any or all of them. I chose the 10km race on Saturday evening, but all three would be a total of 56km. They are all on the Marston Lodge estate, in a part of Northamptonshire with a decent number of squiggly brown lines on the OS map.

The event had been on my radar for several weeks, but I didn't make a decision until last Wednesday, when I was sure that my gastric problems of the previous week had completely gone. The website said "Entries closed", but after a quick email, the organiser replied to say that EoD would be available. Unfortunately, EoD meant that I didn't get the final details email, with the information that the start would be 30 minutes earlier than on the website. I was wondering why the RO was doing the race briefing at 6:20 for a 7:00 start; at the end of the briefing, he said that the start would be in 5 minutes. After a quick change of shoes, I was off.

The course was on farm and forest tracks and field edges. The latter all had the tyre imprints of heavy agricultural machinery, baked hard in the recent dry weather. A generally unpleasant surface to run on, and Walshes were definitely the wrong choice of shoes. There were a few flat stretches, but most of the route was undulating, with a few quite steep hills.

In my previous two races I have suppressed my tendency to go off too fast at the start, but it came back with a vengeance this time. 500m out, and there was a leading group of about ten, and then me about 20m behind. From that start, there was only one way through the field for me: backwards! I finished 25th out of 89, but that includes a fair number who had already run 25km earlier in the day. I was first M60, but there was a F65 two places behind me, and second place overall was taken by a M55. Winning time was 44:00; the RO had said that it was "10k-ish", so I think we know what "ish" means. I did 58:11.

The 20 entry fee included chickpea curry and samosa afterwards, so I'm not complaining.