Wimborne Athletic Club

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‘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.

Again the 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.


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