If I ever fulfil my dream of being a Race Director, I’d want it to be for an event like the Tywardreath Trotter.
At 7 miles, the Tywardreath Trotter isn’t a daunting distance for most. Matt, who’s been organising the Tywardreath Trotter since day one, caters for everyone. There’s a popular one mile fun run for the kids, and the start and finish of the main race is outside the local boozer, The New Inn. There’s a BBQ in the pub garden for all, and the shandies flow freely. The kids all run amok in the beer garden while the adults sink a beer a two and cheer on the runners as they come in.
A Bit About The Tywardreath Trotter.
The Tywardreath Trotter is in its 13th year and is part of Cornwall’s Multi Terrain Race Series (MTRS). Tywardreath isn’t the biggest place but the Tywardreath Trotter draws runners from all over, to the point where the village is bursting at the seams. It’s so popular that many locals rock up to have a go who aren’t regular runners. If you’re on holiday in Cornwall and fancy a cracking village race with amazing energy, the Tywardreath Trotter’s for you.
In case you didn’t know, Tywardeath is between St Austell and Fowey, just outside Par. It’s quite a sleepy little place apart from the first Saturday of the summer holidays when it becomes a hub of running activity. It’s very organised. There’s a separate registration for the kids race, and you can enter online in advance or on the day (if you’re as indecisive as I am, this is a Godsend).
As always, I was delighted to see such a great turnout. I found my school friend, Tash, and her family, and hoped at most, I’d be able to keep her in sight during the race.
The Tywardreath Trotter starts at the top of an incline by the New Inn. As the klaxon blasted we all hurriedly made our way down a little hill. Within seconds of starting I wasn’t very comfortable. With Tash at my side, I confessed that my pants were up my bottom and I proceeded to run with a bit of a wedgie. Great.
The first part of the route takes you downhill and into a residential crescent before coming back, past the start, and out of the village. You head left out of Tywardreath, then turn right, and basically keep going up an incline that leads towards the public footpath. It’s here that I realised I didn’t start my Garmin properly and missed the first 0.8 miles of the race. This made it hard to judge my time as I made my way round the course.
The road stretch isn’t long, and before you know it, you’re on the trails. I like this bit of the course, as it takes you through a small tunnel that I can only assume was built for the smallest Cornishman. The route takes you along a scenic tow path, offering much needed shade on such a hot summer’s day. It’s also flat. Once that lovely bit is out of the way, you meet the road again before sweeping right and going up a hill that just keeps on giving.
Hills, Hills, And More Hills At The Tywardreath Trotter.
I last did the Tywardreath Trotter in 2015, after 13 years of not running. I don’t remember it being this hilly. Even after the hill’s gradient calmed down a bit, we were still making our way up a gradual off road incline. I remember it lasting until at least mile 3. It was also partly up this hill that I lost Tash who climbed steadily, with ease.
After this, I remember passing ‘P.Burden’s Farm’ as we continued to make our way on the tracked road. There was a much needed downhill section, all off road, so I had to pay attention to my foot placement and made sure I looked about 4 paces ahead. I really enjoyed getting some momentum going though.
There’s a water station at 3.5 miles, much needed, thank you. I couldn’t resist tipping most of it over my head. Pressing forward on the road once more, we were greeted with another hill which seemed to last an eternity. I’m sure there was another off-road section too where fellow Lonely Goat, Jason, passed me. It wasn’t long before another Goat, proudly wearing his Team Yellow vest made his way pass me too. Guys, we really should get together and get a team photo in the bag before a race!
On The Return Route.
From here, my memory is a bit of a blur. The Tywardreath Trotter route takes you back on the tow path, a total blessing as there’s more shade and it’s flat. I was behind a male runner who took a tumble. He assured me he was okay. I later saw him during the race and he looked totally fine.
From the tow path, we were back on road again, and surprise, there’s another hill. This one was bad! By now we were well into mile 5. It felt like the end was in sight, but I kind of hoped it would be on friendlier ground. At the top of this hill I think we took a left turn onto a road that runs behind Tywardreath. It’s fabulously downhill (yay) and we were guided towards some steps. This took us across 2 fields which I remembered from last time. At the end of the 2 fields, we were guided down some wonky steps (steady now), and what you see is a sight for sore eyes.
The finish line involves running downhill and if you can, I suggest you totally hammer it. This is mainly because there’s a small incline to the finish, and it can really propel you forward. The crowd’s always good here so there’s cheers and shouting to help you along the way.
My sister and my son were at the end (good job as I hadn’t arranged a post race meeting point). I was offered several “well done” and “good finish” comments. After crossing the line, all I could muster was, “That was awful!.”
But I really didn’t mean it.
I love the Tywardreath Trotter for its village atmosphere and energy. It’s tough but year after year it brings a massive community of runners together. I’m also pretty keen on the finishers tee and can of Korev we all received, even though I was too tired to drink it when I got home. I opted for a cup of tea and an early night instead.
There’s 4 years between my Tywardreath Trotter efforts. I think I took a few minutes off my time which I’m amazed at because I walked most of the hills. Hopefully it won’t be so long next time and 2020 will be another successful year.