Finally! After years of injury and a focus on recovery, I’m able to take part in a new trail running event in Cornwall.
I decided to enter The Readymoney Ramble as soon as I saw it on Instagram. At the time, my recovery was going well, and I entered the 8km distance without a second thought. However, as the time drew closer, familiar niggles and pulls resurfaced and I wasn’t entirely sure if I’d make the start.
Thankfully, with lots of yoga, strengthening and stretching, I decided to give it a go. I knew this trail race would be a run-walk for me, but I didn’t mind. It’s been years since my last race, The Godolphin 10K, and I was ready to experience that racing buzz again. Plus, I knew participating in a trail running event would help me see that I am making progress. Particularly at a time when I’d taken a step back.
Who Are Purple Gecko Events?
Purple Gecko have been around for some time, mainly focusing on music and sporting events. In 2019 they decided to branch out and offer lots of Cornwall based trail running events, ranging from 5k to ultra distances. I think they started with a series of runs at Cardinham Woods and since then have expanded their running races in Cornwall. Purple Gecko now have more events than you can shake a stick at!
Purple Gecko are very much an inclusive events company. Their races may cover some challenging terrain, but they offer several distances per event. Purple Gecko believe the challenge is relative to each individual, and welcome runners of all abilities and speed. As such, their events have no cut off times, meaning runners can relax and enjoy the experience.
Their events have interesting names too. Personally, I like the sound of the Lobster Lollop (it’s for a good cause too, The National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow), and the Tour of Cornwall 6 Pack Challenge. It’s the only 6 pack I’d ever hope to get, I can tell you!
The Readymoney Ramble is a new event for Purple Gecko, and here’s a bit more about it.
The Readymoney Ramble
In case you didn’t know, Readymoney is a beach in Fowey, on the South Cornish Coast. It’s quite a small cove, especially at high tide. It boasts lovely views over to Polruan and has the rather fantastic Readymoney beach shop in situ.
The Readymoney Ramble is another Purple Gecko event that targets runners of all abilities. Offering three distances, 8km, 16 km and 24 km, there’s something to suit everyone. I entered the 8km, and while I was apprehensive about whether I’d last the distance, I was so stoked to finally be taking part in a race!
The multi terrain route for the Readymoney Ramble is made of up of 2 connecting loops, covering a total of 8 km, or 5 miles. Therefore runners who enter the shorter distance, like me, complete one lap. If you enter the 16 km, it’s 2, and 3 times for the 24 km runners.
The First Readymoney Ramble Loop
The start of the Readymoney Ramble is at 8am, with the runners completing the longest distance starting first. I didn’t have to wait around long to get going though, and we were soon heading away from Readymoney Cove and onto the coast path towards Daphne du Maurier’s favourite swim spot, Polridmouth Beach.
Aside from the initial climb (this is running in Cornwall, afterall), this bit of coast path isn’t too bad. As you’d expect, the views are wonderful. Calm seas stretch out to the left and I can see the curve ahead, hiding the next cove. In fact, we passed an accessible little cove that I never knew existed. I now know this to be Coombe Haven. Definitely one to remember on a busy summer’s day.
Once at Polridmouth beach, we head away from the sea and move inland towards Coombe farm. There’s a considerable gradient here too, which seems to go on and on and on. At the gate we follow the path, taking us around fields and then onto a track. At this point, I can see we’re heading back to Readymoney Cove, ready to start the second loop.
It’s not that simple though. As what comes up must come down, there’s a steep descent towards the beach and it’s just as hard to run down as it was to go up! As we make our way to the beach, course photographer, Mark, is waiting at the bottom. Thankfully, I remember to smile.
Loop 2 – Heading into Fowey
Before I completed the first loop, I had a feeling the second one would be easier. I know Fowey well (it’s a great place to amble around, browse the local shops, and have some local food), and the road from Readymoney Cove is quite flat and easy. For many of us, it offered the opportunity to pick up the pace.
The Readymoney Ramble has an early start, so the roads were quiet and totally devoid of cars and people.
We ran into the centre of Fowey. Looking at the map we were given at registration, I was expecting this trail running route to loop round the centre and head back up the hill, by St Fimbarrus Church. Instead we carried on along the main road through Fowey, before turning into a narrow side alley.
I’d never ventured down this little alley before, and found lots of cute cottages. Actually I was quite chuffed as I found a cottage called Tucker’s Luck (for young readers, this was an 80’s children’s programme) and wondered if Todd Carty was a Fowey resident (I checked, he’s not).
This final part of the Readymoney Ramble route took us along lots of back roads. These snaked uphill connecting Fowey’s main parallel road. We covered lots of steep steps which added to the overall elevation and inevitable thigh burn. After getting to the top of Pikes Hill, we finally land on a bit of flat courtesy of Hanson Drive.
Finishing The Readymoney Ramble
From here, it’s a rather pleasant trot through a quiet residential area before a sharp right turn. It’s no distance at all to Readymoney Beach, where I’m greeted by the speedy runners who’ve already finished and Mark from Blue Kite Communications taking finisher photos.
I’m given my very big medal (seriously, it’s huge) and hang around for a bit, seeing some other runners come in. I met some other runners, some from Instagram, and to speak to Leann, who kept me company for the most of the first loop.
I totally enjoyed a well deserved mocha from the Ready money beach shop, who were kind enough to open at 7.30 on the day of the event. Thank you! It’s a little treasure trove of Cornish gifts too, I ended up buying some earrings (a little post race treat!).
My only regret is not bringing a towel to have a post race dip.
Thanks to Purple Gecko Events for putting on a great race. You can check out all of Purple Geckos Events on their website.
Looking for another running route in the area, why not try Fowey Hall Walk?