On Sunday 22 May 2011, I ran the Stoke Row 10k for the first time. It's a relatively close race to home, but the thing that sold it for me was free music festival in the pub gardens afterwards. I thought this would be a great opportunity for my wife to have something to do whilst I run around the 'burbs and it would also make the run a bit of a "grand day out", which it proved to be, but we'll get onto the day's entertainment in a moment. First the race.

First, the race description...

The 10k route will start and finish at The Cherry Tree Inn, Stoke Row, taking you through some beautiful undulating Oxfordshire Countryside. Starting at 10.30 am, you will be chip timed, have water stops, plenty of clear route signage and marshalls.

This is pertinent as "undulating" is probably a little tame, but "hilly" is a bit too severe. This is quite a tough run as the elevation graph from my Garmin shows...

Profile of Stoke Row 10k

The greenline is the elevation - I've scaled the image a bit to give you an idea of how it felt to me.

As you can see, there's quite a bit of climbing involved. It is also mostly offroad which the race description doesn't mention. It would have been good to know this in advance as I would have liked to have tackled it in my Merrells.

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