running blog

Clive Whaley

Coastal Trail Series

Tough 10K Test

Day 96 - Marathon Training - 10K Race - Exmoor - Coastal Trail Series

I drove 80 miles today to take part in a gruelling 10K race - in fact probably the toughest 10K I have ever done. To start with it was actually 7.3 miles long (not 6.2 which it should be!) and it included a mere 1,200 feet of climbing. It was part of what's called the Coastal Trail Series run by Endurance Life. I've done a few of their events and I 'enjoy' the challenges they put on. They are always well organised and in the most remote and rugged and vertical places you can find along the UK coastline.

I was reasonably pleased to finish 12th out of about 150 competitors and to win my age group (male vet 55+) - to be honest there were hardly any other old geezers like me taking part! The photo here was taken about 4 miles into the race and you can see on my face how hard it was. Nearly all of those first 4 miles involved climbing up and along incredibly steep and narrow coastal paths and then the remaining 3 miles were a scramble downwards over rocks, branches and through wooded paths back to the finish. There wasn't a level patch on the whole course and there wasn't a bruise free part of my body by the time I had pummelled it to bits over the complete circuit.

The start and finish were near a pub called The Hunters Inn - part of the Heddon Valley - a lovely spot and the course itself was rugged and spectacular and wild. The trouble is, when you do an event like this, it is so punishing that you fail to really take in the beauty of it all. I would love to come back sometime and maybe just walk the same route and then 'see it' properly for the first time.

The event is full of young, trendy types wearing the latest running and adventure sports kit, usually in the brightest of colours and just before I left the event, I spotted this guy, Mr P Cock, wearing one of the most lurid outfits of all.