Rok the Stones

Rok the Stones race report - Jim Beech

The Rok the Stones trail marathon is set in the Chew valley about 10 miles from Bath and Bristol. The Stone Circles are behind the Church and form the 3rd largest collection of prehistoric standing stones in England.
The route consists of three very different and testing loops from Stanton village hall, each loop starts and finishes at the village hall for food stop and a check in point. The course profile is challenging, over 2,700 feet of ascent and the race is about 28 miles long, it is a self navigation event although there was several marshals at important locations, there was 2 starting points at 8:30 for the normal mortals and 9:30 for the faster runners. Conditions on the day were difficult under foot very muddy with lots of standing water, the sun was shining and the temperature was good.
Saturday 30th January 6.30am Richard Clifton, Neil Staynor and myself set off and arrived at the village hall at Stanton Drew at about 7.30am to meet Paul Masters and Samantha Mepham, we had all run 2 of the loops previously, after coffee and the race briefing we made our way to the start, (except for Richard). The first loop was roughly 11 miles, the views and scenery were amazing, I seemed to be running reasonably well even though it was treacherous underfoot and I managed to fall over only once prior to getting back to the village hall without any further issues.
Then on to loop 2 this was the shortest loop at about 6 miles no problems although some steep climbs and some walking, back to the village hall for coffee sustenance and gels.
Loop 3 another 11 miles of mud, hills some walking and managed to fall over yet again on a steep muddy descent, only pride took a bit of a bash. I manage to get lost for a short distance but soon got back on track, with about 5 miles to go I started to struggle and getting a bit of cramp but recovered to get across the finish line.
This event was superbly organised and food stations both in the hall and on the course we're very well stocked, the Chilli after the finish was fantastic as were the quality and quantity of the cakes and the catering in general.
If trail running is your thing this is a great event, lovely people to meet, friends to run and travel with, inexpensive entry fee and fairly local.
For the record.     
           1st place Stuart Henderson
            Team Bath AC.                            4.00.19

           6th place Richard Clifton
           Chard Road Runners.                  4.49.29

           33rd place Jim Beech
           1st place male vet 60+.               5.39.21

Slower times were in excess of 8 hours, hope to see some of you next year.     Jim