As Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana” blasted out of the car’s speakers we sang along, its cheerful melody and catchy lyrics completely in tune with our high spirits. There was so much energy buzzing about that, if you hadn’t been there to see us finish, you would never have thought we had all just smashed a race.

Lenka smiling at the start of the race

Five of us cramped in the car, we were on our way back to London from an amazing day out on the trails in Somerset. Think of the word ‘beautiful’ and imagine a day like that; because that’s how we would describe that Saturday. Even though most of the costal views we were promised were covered by low fog, the day was warm, the sun was out and the course, with all its hills and treacherous descents, was immensely fun.

Single trails cutting the moorland, sheep undisturbed as neon outfits ran by. Bogs and rocks and roots, things that make trail running exciting – we had it all!

As is becoming the norm, Lenka finished with a double podium, with a superb 3rd place overall and 1st woman on the short, 8km route. At the same time Caro, on her debut race, finished 12th overall and was the 4th woman to cross the finish line. And Mirjam, who the day before the race was still unsure whether to take part due to a bad cold, started the day at 4.00am and was the 12th woman to finish the short course, 25th overall. Des, on his part, decided to take on the long, 22km route, and use it as training – as you do.

Happy at the finish line

The atmosphere was brilliant and the runners, officials and marshals unbelievably friendly and full of encouragement. Thanks a lot to all the Maverick Race organisers and Bruce at Inov-8 for putting together such a great race series! People of all abilities had a lot of fun on a testing, wild course, and the Maverick Ale you get at the finish is as sweet – if not more – as the medal. You must try it!