Race Report: Run the Rock | Eclectic Cake: Race Report: Run the Rock

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Race Report: Run the Rock

WHAT:  10k trail run
WHERE:  Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire
WHEN:  7th June 2014


When someone's happily stood in torrential rain, cheering you on as they point you towards the next hill, there's nothing more you can do than muster the strength to do the incline justice.


It's safe to say my first off-road race was a baptism of fire. Although the thunder had stopped by the time we set off, the rain was nothing but persistent, only clearing after the last runner was long finished. With around two-hundred pairs of feet trampling through the trails, this of course meant mud. And lots of it! I'd not factored in the slowing, glue-like properties of mud to my already challenging hilly run. This was not the day to be checking my pace.


I thought I'd be taking in eyefuls of green country and pausing to steal lungs of fresh air but in reality, my attention was focused on my feet. Even being one of only a few runners in trail shoes – me adding a fresh coating of mud to my deliciously comfortable new Salomon Speedcross 3s – I found it hard to trust my feet on the always changing terrain. Rocky roads threatened to turn my ankles, mud slides tried to slip me down the hills, and uneven paths hid fallen branches that were ready to trip me up.


It was all feeling quite difficult. But the second lap gave me a chance to find my trail legs – I'd already survived the first 5k so logic said I could do it again. The countless smiles and cheers from each marshal I passed lifted my spirits and gave me the push to continue exploring. Yes I was tired, soaked through and covered in mud but, given the choice, I'd much rather the interest of wading through country-side than the boredom of plodding on grey pavement. Despite being hard, running these lumps and bumps was exciting and so, so rewarding.


Emerging from the course, toward the finish line, I'd never felt so satisfied. I'd Run the Rock and couldn't help thinking that doing it in the middle of a storm only meant I'd done it properly. Trail running is beautifully tough but I absolutely love it!

6 comments :

  1. Well done! Love the pics! Shame it was so wet ... but I'm sure it woldn't have been the same without the mud!! p.s. I have Speedcross 3s too - LOVE them!!

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    1. Exactly! It's quite satisfying to see how much mud you can collect on the way. (I love my Speedcross, too! It's good to hear I've picked a well loved shoe!)

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  2. Hi Jen, great run report and so glad you enjoyed it. Hopefully next year it will be dry, it's even better then. RTR Team

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    1. Thank you, it was a brilliant event! Rain or shine, I'll see you next year!

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  3. The two trail races I've done have been similar to this, trudging through thick mud, but I bloody loved them! I also love how much I don't care about pace during trail running and just run because I enjoy it!

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    1. Amazing! I don't think trail races can really be compared – the terrain can be so different, I don't think it's worth watching the clock.

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