WHERE: Cuxton, Kent
WHEN: 29th November 2014
A wise, bearded man once told me, all you need to run trails is the right pair of shoes and a sense of humour.
My terrain of choice when I started running was the tarmac of local pavements. It was quiet, I wouldn't get lost and I'd be able to crawl home if I got tired. Since then, though, I've traded the streets for new views and uneven trails but it took me a while to gain the courage to explore them. In the end it was an accidental run up a mountain and a 10k race in a thunderstorm that showed me trail running really is brilliantly simple.
The Trailscape series is another perfect way to give trail running a go. For a start, each race in the series is just a short train ride from London, making it easy for city runners to experience a splash of mud and lungs full of fresh air. There are also three distances on offer – marathon, half marathon and 10k – all with generous cut off times so there's something for all abilities.
The 10k at Cuxton was, of course, popular with newer runners. The runners either side of me were a never-run-on-trails-before daughter was accompanied by her trail-loving dad. A rarely-running husband was instructed to run slower than his wife, so she didn't come last. That wife, despite the very real possibility of coming, now, second to last, grinned ear-to-ear as we lined up to start her second ever 10k race. There were lots of mutterings of not having done enough training, being slightly niggled with injuries or being completely new to running! Trailscape really are welcoming, why else would there be so much cake?!
There are two races left in the Trailscape series. For more information, click here.