John Bateson – Box Hill fell race, 23rd January 2011

First outing of the year in the Vegan Vest was a great southern fell race organized by the South London Orienteers
Up and down Box Hill a number of times – 1700ft of climbing in 7.5miles. Sadly, after a week of beautifully bright, clear and cold days, Saturday 22nd January was misty and wet (still cold though).
To get that much climbing into that little distance, you have to go up quite a bit, and so the climbing started after about 500 yards. I found that my ascending needs a bit of work. Then we went down the hill, and turns out my descending skills also need work. The flat bits weren’t really that well handled either.
Oh well, it’s early in the year and I’ve not raced for a long time, so naturally I felt a bit sluggish. I was fairly pleased to overtake quite a few people throughout the race, and particularly on the penultimate climb (though I didn’t know it was nearly the last climb at the time).
I finished in just under an hour, which wasn’t too bad, feeling fairly together, about which I was very pleased, and in 35th place (out of a little over 250). Everyone who finished got a lovely Clif bar (it’s vegan – woohoo).
All in all, lovely event; nicely organized, cheap, and vegan prizes. What more could anyone ask? : 59.13 for 7.5miles