Sarsen 10k Event Review by Richie Appleton


In March I noticed to have a heel pain after a Park run on a Saturday morning. Nevertheless , I took the advice from fellow members of Shrewton running club to rest my heel and return to running when I was pain free.

2 months had passed and I took the plunge to attempt a 5km event….mistake! My heel pain was still there and I felt annoyed as I just wanted to put my running shoes on and record some mileage on Strava and be pain free.

3 weeks later I asked Andy who is a fellow club member, if he would be up for a short run of 4 miles just to test my heel. The short run was ok and my heel felt fine, 2 days later we ran the exact same 4 miles and found to be 1 minute quicker….pain free and feeling good.

I started to have faith in my heel and chose to enter The Sarsen 10km fun run which is described as a multi-terrain, undulation cross-country course of moderate severityPut the fun in fun run

I was tempted by the challenge of a trail run as there would be hills to mix things up a bit (i.e. a chance to legitimately walk) and interesting scenery to take my mind off the fact that I was going to attempt to run a distance with minimal training for a 10km fun run….I concentrated more on the word “fun” rather than the distance.

Don't PanicThe 10km fun run came around quicker than expected and suddenly I was waking up at a ridiculous time from the noise of thunder and lightning also trying to shovel as much food and fluid into myself as was possible, as I am doing this i can hear the voice of  Corporal Jones from Dad’s Army echoing in my head: “ Don’t Panic!”

The 10km run started and finished at Old Carter Barracks with a start time of 10.00am.

Whilst waiting at the start line I could see a mixture of runners and walkers, slow, fast  and serious runners. There were ultras with their desert caps and ankle gaiters as well as groups of walkers with with their dogs.

2.5 miles in I was feeling ok and pain free, at this point the event would split with the 10k going to the left and the finish to the right.

Oh look – a hill!

As I was going left following the 10km route I could see a nice hill to the right where the finish point would be 2.5 miles away, Knowing that I would have to run up the hill and on to the finish line I knew I had to  keep going whilst I muttered “I’m never doing this again”.

The last stretch dropped gently downhill, and there in front of me was the finish line. I  attempted a very slow-motion ‘sprint’ finish over the finish line. I done it! I have actually completed my first 10km Trail run! What an incredible feeling, a mixture of complete exhaustion, I  collected my medal and a bottle of water.


Would I recommend the event? Definitely, but with more training prior.

The hills are hard and the gravel tracks and exposed nature of the route means it’s a struggle at times, but for novelty factor (half the route is normally closed to the public because it crosses military training areas) it’s certainly worth a go. There are also walking routes, a full and a half marathon, Canicross, 5km and  cycle ride, so it’s certainly an event to drag friends and family along to, even if they’re not runners; plus there’s the feel good factor of it being for a Charity (WiltshireWildlife Trust)!


Richie Appleton