Steve Guy reports from
The lure of a ‘run’ on the wild side is
sometimes difficult to resist and so it was with this one. Rugged
and exposed, the race not me, I decided to accept the challenge of
the bleak rocky outcrops of Dartmoor. 13 and a bit miles of tough
terrain which was either uphill or down, although felt mostly like
up. The well-marked mostly trail course was littered with lumps of
granite, half frozen boggy puddles and coupled with a relentless
biting northeast wind. Not much man made here, just nature’s
I’d like to mention at this point the
shoes that I now wear for running. It strikes me as being odd that
this is rarely, if ever, mentioned. After all we normally wear
something on our feet, the most crucial part and this information
should be shared in race reports. For 10 years or more I took part
mainly in road races but ended up knackered wearing the usual
cushioned, supportive trainer. To enable me to get back to running
after a long spell of injuries I switched to Vivobarefoot shoes.
There are others but in my opinion these are the gold standard.
Following vital tuition from Lee Saxby at ‘Born to Run’ I now run
naturally and consistently, without periods of injured down time.
Longevity is a better target than PBs.
So natural running has led me to natural
environments and for this race I wore Trail Freaks, the grip, feel
and flexibility are perfect for these conditions. From the very
start of the race it’s sharply uphill and just keeps on coming, a
serious test of endurance. 2,000 feet of climb in this almost
ethereal landscape is certainly a challenge. This ancient land
sculptured by wind and rain is awe-inspiring; no wonder there were
so many visitors here on this coldest of days. I came home in
2:10:22, 66th out of 211, not the quickest but very
rewarding. If you’re looking for something beyond the metaled road
I definitely recommend this one.