I find that dependent on the nature in which you’re running, the further you push your legs to travel, and the more often you do, the less frightening something that once used to petrify you, can then succeed in doing so. I remember coming home after my first 10 miles feeling elated, yet spent, with so many emotions. I was mainly so shocked that I made it home in one piece ready to tell the tale to my Brother, whereas now I generally find this kind of mid distance really enjoyable.
With this being said, Flatline 10 is a lapped event that doesn’t necessarily maintain the same normality of your usual 10 miler, in actual fact, it’s really anything but. The distance from the top to the bottom of Swain’s Lane, where the race is held, is exactly half a mile, and the elevation gained on the way up to the top point is around 18%. Times that by 10, add in some race numbers, the pressure of being timed, and theoretically you’re on the road to a hefty hillside race with muscles in your legs that may not feel all that forgiving. Whilst it’s a hard challenge to race, the support that the 30 participants who line the lane give each other is a huge boost, and the high fives, shouts of encouragement are enough to get you through, along with the opportunity to fly down the repeated descents to the bottom.
Whilst Flatline 10 isn’t an easy feat, it’s a great challenge of mental stamina. On the first accent, you begin to wonder what on earth you’re doing spending your Saturday morning here when you should be tucked up in bed, but by the end of it, you almost finish wanting to box off more laps. As well as the mental gain, it’s a great way to prepare your legs for any hill rich races, and an even better way to test your brain power. Paul Bains was my wingman in this meeting with Swain’s Lane, and we definitely earned every bit of our cake.
Photography : Cory Wharton-Malcolm