Godolphin Hill 10K Location
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 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. They’re rather lovely at Godolphin House as they kept the cafe open for the duration of this evening 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. It was meant to happen last year but my achilles decided it 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 being 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 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 brings you to the top of Godolphin Hill, and it then feels like it levels off for a bit (but the Strava profile suggests differently). The views are outstanding although it’s easy to be focused on your running and lost in your own thoughts. The views of the north and south Cornish coasts last a good half a mile so 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 go downhill, 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 me merging 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 (probably a tad more 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 a bit too and I was wary that it may deteriorate. I didn’t do anything different though, aside from check my form and just plough 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 to 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 on the uneven terrain. 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. Definitely a series of 10ks for the 2020 calendar though.
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 was a superbly organised event 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.