The RAT – Roseland August Trail Race Series – is a series of challenging coastal runs along the stunning South Cornwall Coastal Path.
It incorporates four different routes, The Black Route 32 miles, The Red Route 20 miles, The White Route 11 miles and The Plague (green) 100K – 64 miles ! All these routes follow the same part of coastline, with runners from different routes joining each other at different points along the way. The route takes competitors through stunning coastal scenery, over undulating paths, through fields, villages and surrounding countryside – it is not for the faint hearted!
Simon R and Nikki S took part in the awesome event this year and share there experience with us here; (Photo's courtesy of Mudcrew events)
Having been out of running for the second half of last year with ITB troubles, I knew I had to give myself an incentive to get my training back on track this year. Entering a 50km event....the Black RAT along the Coast path of the Roseland peninsula in Cornwall, certainly provided that motivation. Nikki also decided to join me on the 11mile White RAT, as part of her preparation for the London marathon in October.
We camped up the night before in a lovely little site a few miles from the event centre, and after a big pasta supper headed for an early night, as I had to be up at around five thirty for my start.
You are bused to the start at St Anthony's Head, which gave me the chance to chat with a few fellow runners....and hear first-hand about the hills towards the end of the run. It's then a simple matter of running, walking and crawling the 30 odd miles along the coast path back to the event centre. It was the hottest week of the year in mid-July, and the heat certainly added to the challenge for me....I'm much happier in wind and rain to be honest.
Eating and drinking well, are also part of the challenge, and I had packed a very varied supply of goodies in my backpack.... boiled eggs, fried salted potatoes, crisps, Eccles cakes amongst others. There was also a good range of fodder at the aid stations, and water melon was a firm favourite with me that day....and a tip top ice lolly a life saver at the final station.
The other life savers, were the people who had carried gallons of cold water along the coast path and were spraying us all down.....angels in disguise I reckon.
I think I was running quite well until the mid-twenties mile mark, but the last six miles took me an age.... literally coming to a standstill at the bottom of one or two hills, building myself up to tackling the seemingly never-ending steps.
Self-talk is something I use on races of all distances, and after chatting with another runner, I added a new mantra to my tool kit "I never get tired, I never get tired, I never get tired....." I was very glad of his advice, and found it did help.
The finish line was a very welcome sight, and the chap with a hose was another final life saver. Nikki was waiting there, already showered, having come in well before me from her run.