Trev Elkins in the Up on the Downs 10k

Trev Elkins was looking to test himself on a lumpy and slightly longer than usual 10k course

With the Eastleigh 10k looming large on the horizon there was time for one little sharpener for Trev Elkins before the big event. To fulfil that purpose, he selected the Up on the Downs 10k, an event put on by Tri-Counties Trail Running.

It didn’t turn out to be a straight forward race though. The course was actually 11.1km and included some very tough inclines. In fact, the elevation gain was around 730ft, so it wasn’t going to be one for a fast time.

Burying himself in his training for Eastleigh, Trev hadn’t done many races of late. He did knock two seconds off his previous best five mile time at the Romsey 5 in January though and recorded a sub 18 minute parkrun at Poole the weekend before the Up on the Downs 10k so he knew his form was there or thereabouts.

Also competing in the 10k race was Helen Ambrosen. It was to be Helen’s first race of the year so she was no doubt looking forward to pinning that number on and getting back out there.

As well as the 10k, there were also 5k and Half Marathon options at the Up on the Downs event. The Half Marathon race also included some Bournemouth AC representation with Lea Lohk in action.

Lea had featured in a couple of recent half marathon races, competing in the Winchester Off-Road Half Marathon in freezing cold, icy conditions. Despite tripping and falling at one point, she persevered and finished first over 60 female that day.

She also did the Blackmore Vale Half Marathon, where again she finished first in her age category before hitting the Lytchett 10 the following weekend where she was a scorer for the team in the Dorset Road Race League.

The course for the Up on the Downs races started and finished at Breamore House, heading along mostly trails and country paths in a very rural area. The terrain was quite varied with the mix of farmland, footpaths and bridleways.

Trev Elkins facing the Up on the Downs 10k

Trev was managing to keep a good pace despite the hilly profile

The 10k route started off with a touch incline that went on for the first two thirds of a mile. Trev still managed to get through it at 7:08 minute mile pace though before really getting into his stride in the second mile.

There was no one else in the race who could match the speed he was going at, getting through the second mile in 6:15 before embarking on another climb in the third mile which went on for another half a mile.

Trev Elkins going well in the Up on the Downs 10k

Trev was well in command of the race and had a huge lead to protect

After the climb though, he then had to come back down again so was able to pick up speed there, posting a 6:51 for his third mile. Next there was another small incline before a long downhill stretch that took him up to 4.6 miles. That led him to a 6:13 for the fourth mile and then a 6:45 for the fifth mile which contained the start of another climb which continued in the sixth mile.

Trev Elkins progressing round in the Up on the Downs 10k

Trev was making the most of the downhill sections

What goes up must come down though and after reaching the top of the penultimate climb, he then breezed back down the hill at the superfast pace, completing the sixth mile in 6:42. That left him with one more small hill to negotiate before heading into the finish. Getting through that last section in 6:14 pace, he went over the line in a fabulous new course record time of 44:52.

Trev Elkins coming out on top in the Up on the Downs 10k

It was an emphatic victory and new course record for Trev

That put him over four and a half minutes ahead of his nearest rival, Greg Shrosbree, who was 2nd in 49:33. Simon Burt was 3rd in 50:13, with Anna Hicks coming in 4th and 1st female in 50:38. Sharon Shaw came in 5th and 2nd woman in 50:44.

Helen Ambrosen gets through the gate in the Up on the Downs 10k

Helen Ambrosen gets through the gate in the 10k race

Completing the 11.1km course in 1:08:58, Helen finished in 38th place. That was a decent result considering the elevation she had to overcome, in addition to the fact that is was her first race for quite some time. Probably since the Wimborne 10 back in November in fact.

Helen Ambrosen enjoying her run in the Up on the Downs 10k

Helen was enjoying her first race of the year

In the Half Marathon race Lea found it to be a really beautiful area. It was very picturesque and with a breathtakingly silent ambience. In terms of the running part though, she wasn’t finding it easy and seemed to be having some breathing difficulties.

Again, there were plenty of ups and downs, with the elevation gain reaching 1,180ft over the 13.7 mile distance that Lea covered. Completing the course in 2 hours 27 minutes and 26 seconds, Lea finished in 35th place overall.

Lea Lohk in action at the Up on the Downs Half Marathon

Lea Lohk was having breathing difficulties but fought well in the Half Marathon

The winner of the race was Toby Hood and he got round in 1:34:12, putting him four minutes ahead of Lee Caiels who took 2nd place in 1:38:10. Dan Prince claimed 3rd in 1:38:12.

The fastest woman in the race was Laura Hutchings who came 9th overall in 1:50:21. Sally Hunt was 2nd female and 12th overall in 1:55:39, with Ali Blaney taking 3rd female spot in 2:03:16 which put her in 14th place overall.

The 5k race was won by John Fine in 26:29, putting him well ahead of Ross Wayne who took 2nd place in 31:19. Harriet Innes was 3rd and 1st female in 32:23.

Although he hadn’t really had anyone pushing him, it was a good confidence boosting run for Trev ahead of the Eastleigh 10k and would certainly serve him well as a good, tough training exercise. He was of course expecting a much faster time at Eastleigh and perhaps hoping to challenge his current PB of 36:44 which he did in that same race last year.

Next up for Lea, it was an even tougher prospect as she would be taking on the Larmer Tree Half Marathon. The course for that race included some absolutely monstrous climbs and an elevation gain of 1,800ft so this was really going to put her through her paces.