The tenth running of the event. This turned into a classic event in the end but started off as organisers nightmare.  By September we had already had well over 100 entries and they were coming in thick and fast when we discovered that our hosts at Montacute House had double booked us (with Santa's Grotto of all things !). We tried to resolve this situation and were offered the week before or after, but we felt that this was not really possible to change the dates, so frantically looked for an alternative Race HQ.  We contacted the very helpful Rangers up on Ham Hill and the agreed to host us. The next month or so were a hive of activity trying to change the route to include this new venue. The mile of running in the Park had to be replaced with some extra distance elsewhere and a suitable start/ finish point, catering, car parking etc etc all had to be resolved. All club members mucked in to help out.  All runners had to be sent details of the revised starting points and the route.

   In the end we came up with a route that was about 1/2 mile longer than the previous route, but still took in all the existing hills but in a different order !. The 2 killer hills that were previously placed at miles 8 to 9.5, were now the first two hills within the first 3 miles. with our sometimes sadistic route planning the first hill 'moved' and got steeper and longer and was named ' Harwood Hill' , This hill also needed a rope to help with the ascent.And not to be outdone the 2nd hill also got longer. We reaccessed the route and decided to classify it as having 10 hills.

 The lead up to race day saw the route to be the usual muddy as hell, but a few days before we had a cold snap and race day dawned to be a very cold but bright frosty morning. The puddles had turned to Ice and most of the mud to 'Rock'.  Everyone had a wonderful time in this winter wonderland. Chris Burton from YTRRC and Jenny Moore from Wells City were the winners. 237 finishers.


We decided to stay with the new Race HQ and route. The events quota of entries were full by the end of September and all plans were in hand for another event. This year we had a lot of rain before the event and the whole route was very soft underfoot, although the first 2 miles before the killer hills had be laid with woodchip and was now a good relatively even path, the rest of the route was extra energy sapping. Race day dawn to yet another dry and relatively bright Sunday morning.


Not sure why but after opening the event for entries at the end of May we had quite a few entries in June and July and steady entry levels all the way to September where things speeded up but entries were not full until into November. This year we decided to change caterers (Mike from Hinton) and also to invite the Help For Heroes ladies with their Cake stall.

 We employed the Crewkerne Army cadets to assist us with Car Parking as we felt we needed to monitor the parking during the event.

 The build up couple of weeks saw an early cold snap with all sorts of problems up North and on the East side of the Country. Despite it being dam cold in South Somerset we escaped the snow until the Wednesday before the race, This was not much but was enough to create problems on minor roads. On checking the race HQ and a little of the course on the Friday before the race the road to the parking areas and the car parks themselves  were covered in compacted snow but just about useable and the course covered in a powdery snow.

Overnight it got warmer and rained quite a bit, then it froze again. Pavements were sheet ice, Clive from the club went up to Ham hill to mark out his section to find large stretches of the route had turned into sheet Ice, Martin asked what the car parks were like and although the roads were now clear the access to the parks was like a skating rink.  Martin, Derek and Clive met up at Ham hill to access what to do. At this time I (Martin) was thinking of cancelling. But as we looked the ice was melting and more rain was due.

After some agonising we decided to pick up 5 bags of rock salt and go for it banking on the thaw.

 Race morning dawned with a pea souper of fog. As the sun tried to come up over Ham hill the temperatures actually dropped below freezing and the top road and race HQ got quite slippery but by the time competitors started to arrive things had warmed up. And the race start was in the Sun but the fog and mist were not too far away.

Some sections of the route still were rather icy but others were muddy so made for a good run where runners had to concentrate  on conditions under foot. Chris Burton stormed to his 3rd race victory in a row (by 3 minutes).

230 runners finished in sunshine to pick up their Christmas pudding and Space blanket.

2011, 2012 and 2013

The event continues to attract entries from far and wide and by mid September to early October we are having to turn runners away. The 2013 nearly had an issue with our Christmas puddings. We had ordered the 300+ Christmas pudding which arrived just before the end of  November. A week later we had a phone call to say that the supplies had recalled most of the pudding and told us to dispose of those we had and they would provide replacements. This was only a week before the event. The replacements did not arrive until the day before the event. We have since found out that another event had to end up contacting its runners as the recall came after the event ! 

2014 / 2015

Another two successful years.


Another slight tweak to the route.


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