A new Grand Prix runners’ perspective on the Trawden Trails from the ever-growing Worsthorne with Hurstwood Runners club…
“The first thing that struck us Grand Prix virgins as we headed off the built-up main roads of Colne and into scenic Trawden was just how much the area reminded us of Worsthorne and Hurstwood, the name we proudly wear emblazoned across our vests. The second thing was how popular the Trawden 7 Trail Race is.
Edging our car into an overspill farmer’s field that had been given over to parking, and with memories of the previous night’s Glastonbury footage still fresh, you’d have been forgiven for thinking you’d just pulled up at a music festival. But this actually was a festival of sorts – a celebration of running.
Urged to sign up in advance, the queue of pre-registered runners was far longer than the on-the-day one. A reminder of the old Haçienda nightclub in Manchester where the guest list queue was twice as long as the normal one.
With a field of 450, this wasn’t your average Grand Prix race and a delayed start reflected the sheer volume of runners that needed to be processed.
But once underway things took on a more familiar feel. The race quickly strung out and we soon found ourselves in the company of our regular adversaries.
Trawden new boy Mick Hughes looked worse for wear but it wasn’t just booze that had taken its toll. The master masseur and all-round good egg had taken part in a triathlon in another country less than 24 hours earlier but was determined to take part in his club’s showpiece race. Even at half-pace, he still beat most of our runners.
The big hill drew groans and moans from even the most hardened of runners in our vicinity. Expletives were even uttered by some when they discovered the kink in the road wasn’t actually the crest of the hill but merely the halfway point.
Still, we powered on in ernest repeating “what goes up must come down” over and over again. When the descents came they were magnificent. We let gravity do its thing and tried to catch a lungful of thick Lancashire air before the next bump arrived.
The Wycoller village bit was a pretty last mile and we looked on enviously as tourists leisurely sat soaking up the summer day outside the coffee shop.
But refreshments were not far away and on crossing the finish line we were handed bottles of local ale.
“Do you want it opening or are you taking it home?” said the lovely Trawden volunteer. She had clearly never met our debauched assembly of misfits before.
“Open please,” and with that we toasted a job reasonably well done.
Nine down, five to go.
Worsthorne with Hurstwood Runners (WWHR)”