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Light Ox 2022 – a review

The Ox Races were held from 6th-8th May 2022, our second race weekend of the year!

It was good to be back at the Rushmore Estate once again, and we saw some incredible running over the Dark and Light Ox, the Ox Half, the Ox Frolic and the 50 Mile events. With dog-start options, even our four-legged friends came for a play. We had the best weather we could have hoped for, and the routes were at their prettiest with bluebells and wild garlic.

If you want to get a bit of the flavour of the event, or to relive the memories of a great weekend, here is a review of the Light Ox race from one of our wonderful Cheerleaders Shell Lawrence.

Wild garlic for miles!

Light Ox 10K

I’ve done a few White Star races now, but this is the first time I’ve done the Ox. Unfortunately, due to work commitments, I wasn’t able to come for the whole weekend and so I opted for the Light Ox (10k) on the Sunday. WOW! It did not disappoint.

On the drive to Rushmore Estate, I was instantly blown away by the views – also the HUGE hills but mainly the views. After doing the Larmer 20 earlier in March and driving past Pregnant Sheep Hill, I’ll admit I was worried about how tough this race was going to be.

The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. I collected my race number and gathered in the race village. We all watched the Canicross runners head off and then gathered round Andy to listen to our race briefing.

Next thing I knew, we’re on the start line and we’re off! You run through the campsite, which was great because everyone not running yet was out cheering you on. I’ve aways loved the family spirit you get at White Star events. It doesn’t matter if you’re the fastest runner or the slowest (like me) and just here for a good time, everyone is supporting you.

At the start

Once you reach the end of the campsite you turn right onto a track. I was instantly hit with the smell of wild garlic, and with the sun beaming down through trees I already knew this was going to be a beautiful route.

The downhill kept on coming; the beautiful woodland paths surrounded by bluebells also kept on coming and this very quickly became my new favourite race. Honestly, it was stunning. I chatted to other runners as the passed me and I was just having a lovely time.

Roughly halfway I reached the Lovestation™; there were already lots of other runners, laughing, drinking and scoffing lots of the yummy treats on offer. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of experiencing a Lovestation, then I can guarantee it’s an aid station like no other and you will be pleasantly surprised. This is also the point where any plans of the PB you were aiming for go out the window as you really won’t want to leave. I grabbed a handful of treats for the journey and continued on.

The Lovestation™

In the back of my mind, I knew eventually there would be some hills as we headed back to the finish line, but actually I was pleasantly surprised. Most of the time I was so wrapped up in my surroundings and taking in all the beautiful scenery that I didn’t notice I was running uphill! I walked when I wanted to, stopped to take pictures A LOT and ran when I felt like it. There was absolutely no pressure from anyone to get finished ASAP, and when I finally made it back to the finish line there was nothing except a family of White Star runners with a warm welcome and a big round of applause as I crossed the finish line.

Uphill towards the end

I headed to the finish tent to grab my goodies and, of course, in true White Star fashion a totally lush medal. (FYI the box of fudge was the nicest fudge I have ever eaten and did not last long!)

I was reunited with my family who had been busy building a den in the woods and sampling the catering vans. As usual the food was delicious and there was no need to stop at McDonald’s on the way home! Happy days!

The family had a great day and we’ve already planned to camp for the whole weekend next year. Hopefully see lots of you there.

If this review has whet your appetite, then check out our upcoming races!

All images © Shell Lawrence

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