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Roundhill Romp – A New Viewpoint

So, this time last year, I was a real ‘newbie’ to Henfield Joggers and was part of the cheering squad for those running the Roundhill Romp. The weather was fabulous and we cheered everyone in and enjoyed a drink and barbeque afterwards (as you do)! The atmosphere was great and you could see everyone running down the steep decent to the finish. I remember thinking to myself that it looked great, but “you won’t ever catch me doing that!” Fast forward a year and I’m not sure if I was feeling brave having finished the pub run from the Shepherd & Dog, Fulking which featured an rather challenging hill, or my shandy had gone to my head, but I somehow found myself saying “yes yes, I’ll a have a go” .

It was again a wonderfully sunny evening and after eventually finding a parking space, joined the rest of the group at the start. There was a lovely big group of Henfield Joggers doing the race this year, distinctive by our green vests and our happy optimism. The start of the run sent us off along the road and up a slow incline which turned into an undulating run on fairly narrow tracks until hitting ‘the hill’ which was really steep and seemed to go on forever! The sign some way up which said “there is no shame in walking” made me giggle as that is exactly what most of us were doing. The good humour and camaraderie between all the runners, no matter what our club or ability, kept us going and the view from the top was worth it; it even felt like the sheep were cheering us on. After some more undulating terrain it was a relief to be going downhill, dodging the tree roots and flint before being serenaded by a guitar playing marshal singing Eric Clapton’s “you look wonderful tonight” which made me laugh out loud given my rosy red face that would undoubtedly be a moving beacon. Into the home straight and some very distinctive encouragement led by Danielle, Lesley and I broke into the obligatory sprint finish (she taught me well) and I was delighted to receive a medal for finishing – my first one ever!

Whilst I found the run hard (and to be fair I find every run hard), I did feel a real sense of achievement and it was really lovely the others had waited to cheer us in behind them and get a group photo at the finish….followed by a well-earned drink down the pub of course!

Nikki Hargrave