At the weekend, Newport & District Running Club’s Jennie and Darren Waters travelled southwards to take on the Exmoor Trail Challenge. Afterwards, Jennie was kind enough to send us this report:

The Exmoor Trail Challenge has a range of race distances, from 11k up to 55k, taking in open moorland, single track woodland, nature reserves along with lots of ups and downs. 

Jennie Waters at the Exmoor Trail Challenge

Darren took part in the 55k ultra distance with over 7000ft of climbing, while I opted for the Marathon distance with over 6000ft of climbing. Both routes cover parts of the Coleridge Way and South West Coast Path, as well as visiting the highest point in Exmoor and Somerset – Dunkery Hill. 

Once over Hawkshead Beacon, the Marathon and Ultra then part, with the Ultra taking an extra loop in of the coastal path before returning back to the start via Porlock Weir with a sting in the tail in the form of a cheeky final climb up part of Bossington Hill.

Darren Waters at the Exmoor Trail Challenge

Both routes were varied and very beautiful but challenging due to the constant ups and downs of the terrain in Exmoor National Park. Darren came 3rd in his age category in 7 hours (24th overall), while I came in at a more sedate time of 7:59 to finish 43rd overall.