This year I have a Rat Race Season Pass. One of the events included is the Trailblazer series which they run in conjunction with Runners World. I’d heard it has an epic goodie bag and decided that Kent isn’t *that* far away (note it actually is).
I’d registered for both the Half and the 10k but in the days leading up to it I knew that I wasn’t fit enough for a half nor in the place mentally to tackle a hilly one so instead opted for just the 10k.
Thanks to traffic I didn’t get there quite as early as I would have liked but managed to get a parking spot literally next to the event village. I was busting for the loo so I made a dash for those before registering and collecting my bib and chip. I popped back to the car got myself all set and then headed back over to the event village in time for the warm up. The start was a short walk away from the event village so we were led over there.
At exactly 1130 we set off, immediately uphill into the forest. There were literally hills everywhere. I don’t think ANY of it was flat! Within the first 2km the small wave we had spread out and it was pretty much just me with a couple of runners behind me and a couple in front. There weren’t any supporters on the course but the regular marshals at pretty much all the bends were always encouraging which was lovely. Being a trail race I was allowed to have my music on so I had that in one ear.
We covered a whole range of different trail terrains from mud to grass to gravel and a short bit of road. I wore road shoes and these were perfect.
The last hill was an ABSOLUTE killer. It felt like it was vertical! I was pretty much crawling up it but when you get near the top and see the finish your like ‘well I can’t stop now because everyone can see me’ so I kept going and as it levelled out I thought I was going to be sick! A quick zig zag over the grass and across the finish line clocking in at 6.02 miles, so a bit short of an actual 10k but tbh I wasn’t too bothered! My time was something I was happy with. I knew it wouldn’t be fast but I’d done better than I expected.
Across the finish our timing chips were removed and we were presented with our medal, goody bag and a much needed bottle of water! I downed half of it straight away! The last waves were still setting off and I bumped into a friend who was in one of them, had a quick chat before he dashed off and then I made my way back to the car for a protein bar and drink before I drove home.
Would I do it again? Probably not! It was a 150 mile round trip for me. The medal isn’t anything special. The goodie bag is nice if you like nuts – I don’t! And included a random throat spray, chia seeds, copy of runners world, raisins and a few more snacks! If you live locally then I’d definitely recommend it but I wouldn’t advise you to go out of your way to do it.