RW Race Report - Tough Ten Challenge


Posted: 14 April 2011

Picture credit: Dave Cox

When: Weston-Super-Mare
Where: February 13
First man: Adam Watt 59:08
First woman: Annabel Granger 1:04:27
Last finisher: 2:16:45
No. of finishers: 941
Type of Race: Trail/ Road/ Hills
RW Rating 2011: 89%

No prizes for guessing the difficulty rating of this race. Sure enough, it was a slog. But the beautiful and varied scenery on show meant that this 10-miler fell firmly into the 'iron fist in a velvet glove' category.

This showcase of Weston-Super-Mare's assets - from an empty beach to sheltered woodland - made it easier for nearly 1,000 runners to defy some atrocious weather.

The first mile took the field along the beach, where the sand was compacted by the rain and therefore relatively easy to run on. Next up was a spell along the promenade, a circuit around the choppy Marine Lake, and then a turn on to the coast road. Long, wide, gently undulating and traffic-free, it was the first chance to relax and enjoy magnificent views of the sea.

After three miles, the course followed a muddy path through Weston Woods straight to the top of Worlebury Hill, a tough climb of around 100 metres followed by a slippery descent. One incline was taxing enough, but the two-lap format of the race meant that runners dragging protesting limbs uphill the second time round were left in no doubt as to the provenance of the race name.

By the time the weary pack reached the beach finish line, they were mucky, knackered, wind-blown and very, very wet. But two decades of experience enabled the organisers to offer immediate succour in the form of shelter, showers, hot drinks  and snacks, as well as the chance for some mutual backslapping for finishing a race whose reputation continues to grow each year.


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