‘Rough & Tumble’ – 13 January 2013
Serious multi-terraining, as Kim Brackley reports
I can’t remember where we
got the flyer for this but as it said mud, sweat and hills that sounded
right up our street! This multi-terrain 10 mile race is held in Milton
Lilbourne near Pewsey in Wiltshire.
We parked at a nearby farm
a few minutes away and walked up to the village hall where all the
necessaries were (portaloos, baggage area and the start). This race had
sold out and I was pleased to see a familiar face from the club, Claire
Scammell, who told me that she had done this race before and at the end
had said never again…ooo inspiring!!
Stupidly we looked at the
course terrain map in the village hall and realised that one of the
hills was mahoosive, this was quaintly called Giant’s Grave, oh dear!
After a rather humorous debrief off we went out into the wilderness of
Wiltshire. We headed down the road and then along some tracks and
footpaths before the first hill (I think this was around mile one) which
a lot of people were walking and that suited me fine as I wanted to save
some energy for later.
Some of the footpaths (not
sure what they were to be honest) were so muddy it was impossible to run
along and of course there was some nice icy water to splash through as
well. A nice level run by the trees brought us out onto the downs where
the views are simply stunning on such a fine day. We carried on down the
chalky escarpment and then it was worryingly obvious where the route was
going. Oh my days!, that was some hill in front and unlike ‘The Beast’
there were no steps! This was Giant’s Grave. The grass made it quite
slippery to walk up and a few people ended up on all fours. Half way up
I realised that the man in front was slipping down towards me so with
both of my hands on each of his buttocks, a hefty push sent him face
down into the grass! Surprisingly he seemed quite grateful for that,
maybe he had visions of ending up back down at the bottom.
I could hear the marshal
at the top saying if we could hear his voice we were nearly there and
once we got to the top and ran along again the views were amazing. What
goes up must come down and it was technically challenging trying to
negotiate this steep slope, so sidewards stepping was the order of the
day, with the occasional bottom shuffle thrown in! Thankfully there was
quite a flat spell along the sides of some fields (wet of course) but
this moment of peace was shattered by a runner informing me that there
was another incline at mile 8. This went on for about a quarter of a
mile, which I ran some, walked some, before turning at a fence on to a
mudpath to head towards the finish.
footpaths/bridleways/mudbaths were tricky to run through and luckily I
didn’t lose my shoe unlike some chap called ‘Cookie’ behind me who then
went on to lose his sock as well. Eventually the fields at the
start/finish were in view and after negotiating a few stiles it was foot
down towards the finish line.
I can’t decide whether
this is harder than ‘The Beast’ but it’s just as much fun. The recent
long spells of rain had certainly churned up the route which made it a
bit more challenging. They had tea/coffee and cakes in the village hall.
The organisation was very good and the marshals did a brilliant job
especially the poor chap who had to get to the top of Giants Grave. It
was definitely worth the round trip there and back for such an event.