Waddesdon Manor 5km

“I hated every moment of the first half and loved every second of the latter half!”

The Waddesdon Manor Summer 5km has been a tough but rewarding annual challenge since 2004 and is certainly not a race for the faint-hearted. Hosted in the stunning Waddesdon Estate, managed by the National Trust, the race brings together over 300 runners from across the local area. It also acts as the 5km club championships for Dacorum & Tring AC.

Starting to the side of the carpark by the visitors’ centre, the route heads straight uphill for just over 2km of climb passing alongside parkland, wood and ornates statues. At the top of the drive, runners turn to see the incredible Manor in all its glory, running a short lap around the stone path across the front of the house. It’s then an incredibly fast sprint down the hill for the remainder of the race; the final stretch providing an especially quick descent. The drive is tarmacked and a fast surface apart from the very occasional speed bump.

This is a very competitive weekday evening event, and it was a little congested at the start as it isn’t chip timed. With it being an out and back up a hill, I hated every moment of the first half and loved every second of the latter half!

Pre-Race was busy; having to walk to the cricket club (around 800m away to collect numbers) seemed a bit silly when there were lots of other spaces they could have used and they could use a few more toilets. There was a simple un-secured bag drop, parking was plentiful and free. With the race being an out and back, the only real opportunity was at the start/finish.

The bling was a mug with the race name and a picture of the Manor on it, lovely, but I would have prefered a medal! There are free race photos available to runners though, so that’s a bonus!

Personal running stats

Time – 24:20
Report – Still running on a broken foot, but certainly felt more comfortable than the weekend. Negative splits thanks to that downhill!

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