Rough and Tumble 10 Miler 11 January 2015   2 comments

Rough and Tumble 10mile results

Sunday was a cold and windy morning for a run but I signed up for the Rough and Tumble 10 miler during the Holiday Drinking Binge and you always do the things you promised to do whilst drinking.  Unusual for me, I tend to do those things also whilst drinking: this was the first race I’ve been in neither hungover nor drunk (nor with any plans to rectify that situation en route) since, I’m pretty sure, a road race in Indianapolis sometime in the Summer of 1983 (and I think I was tripping at that one).

Rough and Tumble 10mile course

I had to catch a fairly early bus and hopped off at Pewsey marina to do a jog down the Kennet and Avon Canal (thus avoiding the roads and a hill — there would be plenty of that to deal with).  The wind howled in the trees but the cut of the canal sheltered and the winter sunrise was inspirational.  The lens of my phone was covered in sweat but the resulting pointilist photo of this WW2 bunker is a keeper:

Rough and Tumble 10mile journey there

At only 10 miles, the race is billed as an endurance event and considered challenging but I reckoned, “how hard can it be?”  Ravens gathering in a tree at the start should have served as an omen but it was one I willfully ignored.

Rough and Tumble 10mile omen

The mud on the downs is all chalk and in large segments you surf or skate much more than run.  There are cold streams of muddy water you must go through (there’s no alternative in the dense wood) and narrow sections where you run single-file so the folk ahead of you determine your maximum rate of progress.  The terrain is uneven about 80% of the way and at the top of some of the hills we ran southern and western arcs across and into 40 mph westerlies — with gusts to 60 mph.  Then there were the hills.

Rough and Tumble 10mile into and up the bowl

Most of the hills were tenable and even pleasant despite the slippery muck encountered.  The one at about 5.5 miles was a ball buster, though.  It isn’t that it is so high but that it requires, if you are in a hurry, to use the copious rabbit holes as a hand grip as you climb.  I did the fell running trick of letting gravity take me down the slightly more gradual approach to the bowl (foreground) yelling, “wheeeeeeee!” as I bounced from clump to tenuous clump with abandon; but, on the steeper-than-the-climb fall from the hill just after 6 miles I saw that we had to pass through a narrow gate in a very solid looking fence and took a more measured approach.

Rough and Tumble 10mile bus home

All in all (and for just a training run), I found it a pleasant way to kill a day off.  The organisers make quite a big deal about there being cake at the finish but it would have been nice had they mentioned it was £1 per slice so that I might have brought some cash — I could have murdered some pastry after this.  My pace was very slow, even for these conditions; still, I started at the very back of the crowd and, therefore, passed 303 of the other finishers (and would be surprised if there weren’t at least a few drop-outs as well).  I was sore and cold and my toes were numb on the jog back to Pewsey to catch the bus home but I can see why this rates as a favourite on the Runner’s World web site.

Rough and Tumble 10 race photo



Posted January 13, 2015 by Drunken Bunny in Running

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2 responses to “Rough and Tumble 10 Miler 11 January 2015

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  1. Pingback: 2015 Running YEAR in Review | The Endless British Pub Crawl continues...

  2. Pingback: End of the Swindon Era | The Endless British Pub Crawl continues...

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