Hobo Pace hosts a range of events from 10 to 100 miles, all set around Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire. Grantham Running Club’s Caroline Davis took on their Waterways 30 (which by her watch actually came in at 32.25 miles). The event also welcomes dogs, so her trusty sidekick Pepper came along with the intention of only running half the distance.
The start is at South Wheatley Village Hall and canicross runners set off prior to the main group of runners and Caroline set off with four other dog and runner partnerships. There is some track and field edge on the route before reaching the Chesterfield Canal and for the first time in a race, Caroline was actually in the lead for 2 miles before being overtaken on a muddy ploughed field.
The pathway by the canal was a little muddy and a fellow canicross runner slipped over a number of
times on this section. Over the section to checkpoint 1, Caroline was overtaken by a number of runners but then they all settled into a pace running through Nottinghamshire and heading towards Lincolnshire where at checkpoint 2 the route moved to follow the River Trent. At this point Caroline swapped dogs and Amber came along for the next section (just the 4.2 miles). It was also the point when she did start to feel quite tired and the effects of the Belvoir Challenge the week before started to kick in. However, with
head down, the pair kept a reasonable pace to checkpoint 3 at Gainsborough where Pepper took to the trail again.
The next section along the Trent winds around the Power Station and starts to introduce some stiles. Caroline was relieved to have swapped dogs as quite difficult lifting a dog over the stile on tired legs. After leaving the Trent it was time to wind their way back to the finish. Checkpoint 4 was only 1.3
miles away and then another 6 miles to the finish. She spied her fellow canicross ahead, but they also sped up to beat her to the finish, so Caroline finished as second canicross home in 5:55:04.
For the first time in the event, there was a female first and second overall in the race. Rachel Dalton from Smalley Road Runners crossed the line in 4 :47 :56 with Rachel Piper from Cherwell Runners and Joggers coming in at 4:51:25.
First male home was Zac O’Neill from Wellingborough and District AC in 4 :51:32s.