If you like a summer evening running event, Freedom Racing hold a series of 10k races in Cornwall every year.
Location of the Godolphin Hill 10K.
Godolphin Hill 10k comes courtesy of Freedom Racing, and is part of their ever popular Summer Sessions. There are 5 10k summer sessions in total, all based in Cornwall. The 10k’s are all evening trail runs, with some offering outstanding coastal views and steep hills (well this is Cornwall, you know).
Goldolhin Hill 10k starts at the National Trust’s Goldophin House. It’s in west Cornwall, kind of in the middle of nowhere. We’re talking south of Hayle and to the left of Helston, in case you were wondering. Staff at Godolphin House are rather lovely as they kept the cafe open for the duration of the event. I was relieved to go home with a cup of tea in hand.
This was my first outing at the Godolhin Hill 10k, and my first summer session. Sadly last year I was unable to take part. My achilles was playing up and didn’t want to go out and play. On collecting my race number this year, the ladies at the table apologised and reassured me that wearing runner number 13 was lucky. Ladies, it’s ok. I’m not superstitious but if I fell over, I may’ve changed my mind.
The Godolphin HIll 10k From Freedom Racing
The First Half.
This Freedom Racing Event has an uphill start, taking runners up a field and out onto the trails. The incline is steady and lasts almost a mile. It’ll be no surprise to learn that the first part of the trail is Godolphin Hill, with us runners having to be watchful of the uneven, bulging ground. The path snakes to the top of Godolphin Hill, and then feels like it levels off for a bit (but the Strava profile suggests differently). The views are outstanding. I found, at times, that I was focused on my running and lost in my own thoughts. The views of the north and south Cornish coasts lasted a good half a mile. Once I realised, I made sure I looked up and savoured the view.
From here, you’re guided through a gate onto more trail before meeting a section of road. This feels like a little slice of downhill heaven after the initial gruelling climb. I felt grateful for a kinder stretch of road but there was a little voice in my head telling me that if I run downhill, at some point, I’ve got to come up, right? Eventually a right turn led us onto a track, and past a farm (I think this is Bannel Farm on the OS map).
I’m having to refer to Strava and an OS map as a write this, as the different sections seem to merge in my head. I must have a bit of runner’s brain fog, or something. I have to confess, I was enjoying the Godolphin Hill 10K so much that I wasn’t logging sections in my mind, like I usually do. The perpetual climbs were quite hard for me too. After coming downhill, we had a mile long uphill ahead of us. I think this was Tregonning Hill but don’t quote me. Either way, it was tough!
The Second Half.
I would guess the Goldophin Hill 10k route is about half road and half trail. There’s nothing like a multi terrain course to keep things interesting, is there? I’d say the second half was mostly road. The 2 biggest hills were thankfully behind us but there was a final incline in the last mile that was just too much for me. By about mile 4 my achilles was niggling and I was wary that it may deteriorate. I didn’t do anything different though, aside from check my form and just ploughed on. Thankfully it ebbed away as I made my way to mile 5.
In his pre-race brief, the RD explained that there would be a downhill finish, and boy he wasn’t joking! The route led us back onto the Godolphin Hill trail, with us coming through the same gate about a mile or so after the start. I found the downhill finish totally awesome. Usually, on flat, even ground you can really go for it. Here it was a balance between trying to tank it downhill, and not trip up. The last thing I wanted to go home with was a sprained ankle.
So there I was, running as fast as I could while remaining cautious, with my eyes dancing between the horizon and the ground. The trail thankfully flattened out as we reached a muddy path before turning into the field where we started. I tried to catch the lady in front of me but she was too far ahead. I ran to the finish smiling, and was totally chuffed that I’d secured my first bling for 2019.
Godolphin Hill 10k is a tough course. I loved it and I think a downhill finish is always a great feature for any event. It’s a shame I’ve not been able to enter the other summer sessions, and won’t be at the start for the final one at Porthtowan. They’re definitely on the list and are a series of 10k events I’d like to do another time.
Big thanks to Freedom Racing and all the marshals who gave up their time to make sure we were all running in the right direction. This event was a superbly organised, with a great atmosphere.
You can find the official race route for the Godolphin Hill 10K here.
Official Race photo used with permission from Freedom Racing. Photo taken by Andrew Benham.
If you’d like to see more of Freedom Racing events, you can find their page here.