Running Monk Hergest 10K Trail

Race Reports

Report by Huw.

I’m always keen to support small businesses where people have taken a risk and struck out on their own. So it is with Alan and Katie and their Running Monk Trail Events business.

Inevitably there are differences between ‘commercial’ events that need to make a profit and those organised by clubs and local communities. The entry cost is typically higher (and there’s s rarely a discounted EA Affiliation price) but the biggest difference is the degree to which races are marshalled. This isn’t a problem with longer events where it’s expected that there will be an element of navigation. On Saturday, when seven Crofties tackled the Hergest 10k and the mist descended the lack of marshals on the hills became a bit of a problem.

On the start line were Jamie, Nigel, Vanessa, Anna, Ali D, Sue P and myself. Of these only Sue, Jamie, Vanessa and Anna managed to finish the course without getting waylaid.

A commercial race can’t ask marshals to work without being paid. The result is that you get very few marshals.  

At Hergest, Ali Davies and I end up with 3 other runners trying to make sense of the course in the mist. We ended up at The Monkey Puzzle trees. My watch showed that we had run just over 5k. Rather than try and re-trace our path and correct a wrong turn we decided to head back down – hoping that we would be close to 10k when we got to the finish.

Unfortunately, our mistake left us short at around 9k. Nigel finished ahead of us and made up the missed distance before crossing the finish line. I always take the word ‘Finish’ as an instruction rather than a suggestion!

Despite my reservations about the race it was an enjoyable jaunt. I’ll exclude Ali and I from the results as we didn’t complete the 10k distance. Of those that did their results were Nigel 52 mins (1st V55), Sue Purvin 1:06, Jamie (1:09) (2nd Vet 60), Anna (1:18) and Vanessa (1:20).

I’m not saying that I’ll avoid commercial races in the future, they have a place. As runners we are blessed with having so many events to choose from and the more we can support them the better – but I’m going to preference community and club and fell races. If people are prepared to stand out in the cold and wet and help guide runners around in the gloom this winter they deserve our support. They might even help stop me getting lost!


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