Words and Photography: Cameron Hanson
This years Exmoor trail running challenge started with a bitter cold 6 degrees that chilled the runners to the bone as the strong breeze funneled through the valley. At 7:30 as the first signs of light broke into the valley a horn blared marking the beginning of the ultra trail race, 49 km's of technical rocky trails, long rolling hills, beautiful woodland and open stretches of trail along the coastline overlooking wales.
Everyone for the ultra marathon seemed incredibly calm despite the tough miles ahead though, this was probably because of nerves and more focus being on keeping warm. As I stood at the sidelines hiking the trails I struggled to comprehend running the full distance across the winding varying terrain, one can only be left with a humbled deep respect for those taking part.
As the day continued more runners set off on each race every hour first the marathon then the half and finally the 10km. As is all too common in trail events it turned out that someone had tampered with the signage marking the different routes and so runners began crossing the line an hour later than expected with stories about going 10km off course as they were mislead into following the longer course for the ultra when they were only taking part in the 10km, 20km may not be the longest distance in trail running, however, when your only prepped and fueled for half that distance it certainly takes it toll.
The whole event held a great atmosphere despite mix ups with the route and it certainly earned its place on next year’s calendar for a quiet change from the much larger trail events
Special thanks to The Trail Events Co for another great event! Hope to see you all there next year
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