Knickers to the Trunce

Have pants, will run!  As perhaps you know?  I am after all, a committed athlete now.  Officially so:


As luck would have it, today, Monday night was Trunce Night!  Yay!  Not only did this offer an excellent opportunity for a yomp out, it was also the last Trunce of the year which means FANCY DRESS.  Roger could come too!  He needs to get back into training as we have the Wingerworth Wobble coming up pretty soon, so miles on the hoof ought really to be ratcheted up again.  Unfortunately, I was again without a car.  However, more fortunately, I was in possession of a Smiley Buddy, not just that, but one who was also minded to think a jaunt out to Oxspring would be just the ticket for a humid Monday evening, and who was also in possession of a (borrowed) vehicle.  Yay, go us.  Me, my new lucky pants and my pony had a running plan!  It’s a Trunce Tradition, a rite of passage, though shalt run the Trunce at least once, and thereafter attend the ritual that is the fancy dress season finale run in twilight and with gusto! (Credit Julia Jennings for this photo by the way 🙂 )

trunce tradition JJ.jpg

Oh, you have got to be joking?  You don’t know what The Trunce is?  We’ve been through this.  Do yourself a favour and follow the link within the text, or just take it from me that it’s around a 4 mile yomp on trails, just outside Sheffield.  Celebrity endorsed, it is a summer series of about 9 runs, that take place over the same route every three weeks or so.  It involves river crossings and much hilarity.  Falling over in the water is obligatory, escape from the alligators and duck – o -crocs that infest these waters desirable.  This photo was I think taken a couple of years back, when a running club coordinated their fancy dress outfits to all come as Wildebeest.  This was collective, creative genius, but sadly also acted as bait that attracted the crocs out in big numbers.  Consequently, whilst you will still see inventive fancy dress at the trunce, runners have never again risked creating quite this level of verisimilitude to prey animals as was flaunted on the occasion captured here.   You have been warned.  Also, the problem with fancy dress of this type, is that it conceals both your running club colours and your trunce numbers, so even those few who made it past the crocs never got a time for taking part.  Harsh perhaps, but rules is rules.  It does say somewhere that you must have your Trunce number clearly on display in letters at least 5 cm high.  I don’t want to speak ill of the dead, but I can’t lie, they really haven’t done that have they?


As an added incentive to attend, The Trunce race series is a popular hang out for mossienet photographers (Steve Firth or one of his representatives on earth – on this occasion it was  Tim Hobbs, though thanks too to Julie and Mick Jennings for some added snaps of the start line stampede).  Collectively they will do their best to capture ‘runners’ plunging into the rapids in return for modest (optional) donations to their charity fundraising effort to buy mosquito nets and so protect local populations from malaria Malaria No More.  They will not plunge in and rescue you should you get into trouble (you can’t interfere with nature, you have to let it take its course), but you will have a very splendid snapshot of the moment of your demise that would look lovely on any memorial page should the worst happen.  What’s not to like?  Some people do find the course a bit much and have to be abandoned to their fate on the way round.  This may sound harsh, but it’s like wildebeest on any river crossing migration, survival of the fittest, most do get through, you have to think of the bigger picture.  This shot is very unusual, because on this occasion it seems it was a Dark Peak Fell Runner that sadly didn’t make it, they are normally invincible.  Oh well, it was what they would have wanted I’m sure…


So Smiley Buddy rocked up at mine in time to try out some fancy dress options (favouring ‘safari gear’ over ‘gardening smock’ or ‘scarecrow options’ – I didn’t offer to lend her Roger as he is not really a novice ride and anyway I was scared she’d ride him better than me and I’d lose all my equestrian credibility in one fell swoop – as opposed to one fell run). Fashion choices made, we piled into the car and made our way to the Waggon and Horses pub in Oxspring via an extraordinarily circuitous route which made me feel simultaneously: pleased it wasn’t me having to drive and navigate, and anxious in case I was being abducted.

On arrival, we didn’t have ages to spare, but it’s all about prioritising when you are short of time isn’t it.  We did a selfie, this was adequate for the purposes of recording that we were present representing Smiley Paces Running Club, but not really adequate for the purposes of recording our commitment to fancy dress.


It was pretty busy, with a pleasing number of participants having shown willing in respect of the fancy dress directive.  I was a bit shy about taking too many snaps, but once we’d paid our £1.50 dues each, I did take a couple to get some of the ambience.  Then I gave my camera to my compatriot smiley buddy who was going back to the car to change in any case so could leave it somewhere safe, whilst I went in search of the loos, fearless.

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As at all the best parties, the loos were the place to hang out for the action.  There was excited chatting in the queue.  Some rumblings of discontent as inevitably the gents squeezed passed the ever-lengthening queue for the ladies, to nip in and out of their dedicated peeing point.  I say that, but on reflection, there was more nipping in than nipping out going on, so maybe some Steel City Striders guys were all playing sardines?  There were a fair few in there all at once.   I didn’t think of this point until later so I didn’t ask.  In our queue it was surprisingly good fun eyeing up the costumes.  There were twins who’d played to their strengths and unfortunately prolific facial hair and come as 118 118, though embarrassingly I wasn’t too sure which was 118 and which was 118 as they weren’t all that easy to tell apart.  Below they are pictured with a woman who was stretching the rules by being carried round by a bear.  Now, I do appreciate I’m on thin ice here, given that I was riding Roger, but, the distinction I’d make is that Roger’s hooves didn’t reach the ground so he wasn’t carrying me as much as all that, whereas that poor bear worked really hard, especially at the river crossing, so bit of a different scenario. I have to admit though, even though I think riding a bear in this day and age may be morally questionable, I did have a bit of a pang of fancy dress envy there, so call me a hypocrite if you must…


Other notable distractions in the loos were large numbers of runners tooling up with their weaponry, water pistols and guns were passed in and out and filled up in anticipation for future exchanges of fire out on the route.  There was also a rather sweet and shy little girl who was very interested in my horse.  I could hear her whispering to the woman she was with, presumably her mum, and then on their way out they politely asked me what my horse was called.  ‘Roger!’ I explained.  They walked on satisfied.  I was very impressed at both their animal identification skills and their confidence that he would, of course, have a name, so many other runners there are ignorant of these things. (Camel?  Well, really, I say it’s forgiven and forgotten, but it’s a struggle for me to move on!)

After I’d used the facilities I ventured out again and bumped into my Smiley compatriot who had transformed herself into a creature of the African bush.    Whilst I no longer had my camera, to my delight she did have her phone, so we accosted a bystander to do the honours.  He looked a bit alarmed, I think he thought we wanted him to marry us or something.  I explained that wasn’t necessary, a simple snap would suffice, and he did well, though we do make a lovely couple it is true!  Here you can see from my joyful expression that I am clearly wearing my new runderwear.  The transformation is quite amazing is it not?


Not much faffing time, we made our way over to the start.  I had brought my head torch with me, but as no-one else was wearing them I left it in the car.  It was quite a crush at the start, but a good atmosphere.  The organiser gave a very valiant attempt at a race briefing, but I couldn’t hear anything over the hubbub.  This was particularly unfortunate as there were rumours of sweets at the end for everyone in fancy dress, but I couldn’t fathom where or how you could source these.  Oh well, running is its own reward, I don’t need confectionary as well!   Also, my body is a temple of course, though I do forget that sometimes and go wild eating avocados for example.   I didn’t hear the call for ‘off‘ but it must have been made, and soon I was caught up in the start stampede before I  really knew what was happening!


It was quite fun all squashed up next to criminals on the run, men in suits, miscellaneous tutus and fairies etc.  As we took off, I was briefly alongside St George, who was lacking a steed but wearing a very fine cape.  He hailed me and ran onwards, I started puffing quite early on, but somehow, caught up in the throng of starters I did run all the way up the hill, under the bridge and round the corner before stopping.  I know that’s not very far really, and hardened runners wouldn’t consider this to be much of an achievement, but it was for me.  This is joyful.  Yomping up a hill with a couple of hundred other runners dressed as everything from whoopee cushions to a banana has an exuberant quality you have to experience to appreciate.  I was also in genuine awe at some of the fancy dress choices, albeit some were truly awesome whilst other possibly had not really been quite thought through properly.  The sumo wrestler looked impressive certainly, but I did wonder how she would cope with air resistance going round and squeeze through some of the narrower gaps in the walls en route.  On the other hand she did have potentially some buoyancy advantages at other points on the way.  Those pants might be runderwear actually, they are most capacious as well as being most comfy.  Did I mention I have new pants?


By the way, whilst we are on the practicalities of fancy dress, do think about the implications of your  choices.  This ‘runner‘ never even made it to the start of The Trunce, such a shame, and so easily avoided with a bit of forethought.  Turtle might have been OK, but a tortoise was never going to make it.

So onwards and upwards.  It was hot.  Way hotter than I’d expected, and pretty humid too.  As soon as we’d got past most of the spectators, I slowed to a walk.  I know, very early on, but as I’ve previously established in other posts, this isn’t actually slacking as such, rather it is legitimate racecraft, just pacing myself.  I was sort of mid-field, so a few runners passed me, but I wasn’t at the back. The running club with water pistols many and manifest, were also hilarious.  Their speedier runners kept on dashing ahead, and lying in ambush for the slower ones coming up behind.  This confused me a bit at first as you know how all runners basically look the same, and I couldn’t work out how runners that were ahead of me suddenly appeared behind me and vice versa, but it also kept me entertained.  I particularly enjoyed some of the heckling ‘banana coming through‘ was a good one.  I didn’t know bananas could look demonic, but it seems they can.  Good to know.


There was also a rogue nun out on the course.  I couldn’t help wondering if she’d somehow become detached from her barrel rolling comrades, and was still chasing over the hills looking for them with an ever-increasing mania brought on by sleep deprivation.  I didn’t like to ask.  Nicky Spinks (that’s the celebrity endorsement of The Trunce by the way in case you were wondering) was in attendance at this Final 2016 Trunce just a couple of days after winning this team event of barrel rolling across kinder scout .  Once again, she demonstrates she is basically a running machine – she was taking cash at the trunce the day after she completed the Bob Graham double as well, she must not need to rest or sleep.  As with last time I was at The Trunce and saw her, I was far too in awe of her achievements to actually  congratulate her, so I just went with ‘I’m number 5025, thanks‘ instead.  I would have liked to have asked her though of which of her successes is she most proud: Bob or the Barrel?  Tough call, tough call indeed…  I wonder what pants they are all wearing? (Thanks to Sally Fawcett for providing these shots by the way, expertly procured if I may say so, and thanks to Marcus Scotney for taking the ones of the nuns on the run.)

From the grassy slopes you press on through a freshly harvested corn field.  This was a bit of an issue for me, as at one point a whole heap of fresh oats had been spilled onto the track.  Very tempting for poor Roger, but I couldn’t let  him stop and gorge so early on because of the risk of colic later on.  I felt a bit mean though as we pressed on.  Next was a dusty-ish track, with still a few spectators out and about.  It seemed a lot quicker and shorter for me than last time I went round.  It really does make a huge difference having done it once before, even though I didn’t exactly remember the route, it was like little moments of deja vu going round.  I had some sense of how long each section was.  Things like the massive hill later wasn’t quite such an unexpected outrage and shock for example.

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Unexpectedly, there was a mass jail breakout that was opportunistically planned to coincide with this Trunce Finale.  Their prison issue garb becoming inconspicuous juxtaposed alongside the many and glorious manifestations of the diseased imaginings of runners from near and far.   I don’t know the histories of these people who have somehow fallen foul of the criminal justice system, all I know is that when we run we are all equal, running our own race, fighting our own battles, and so good luck to them.  The whole event did challenge me to reflect on my own beliefs around law and order.  Generally speaking, I don’t approve of people carrying guns, let alone using them, but the water pistol runners were entertaining, even when I got caught in the cross fire.  There is a deep irony though ,that here we were at the Trunce not just tolerating but celebrating gun use, when further down the country people were being arrested for carrying ceremonial swords.  It’s a strange world.

The next excitement was that a pack of juniors was released in our wake.  They are so fast!  They had us in their sights and chased us down.  I know they are running a shorter route, but they just seem to sprint the whole thing.   Their speeds are incredible.  They really were.

Like  shooting stars leaping through the sky
Like tigers defying the laws of gravity
Like  racing cars passing by like Lady Godiva
They were just gonna go go go
There’s no stopping them

The only problem is, I got really confused about running etiquette again.  People were desperately shouting from behind ‘left‘ but I didn’t know if they meant keep left (so the runner passes on your right) or runner coming through on your left, so runner passes on your left.  The consequence was I got a bit panicked and sort of ricocheted back and forth across the track a few times until I worked out what to do for the best.  I wish faster runners would understand this.

Rant alert:  I had a horrible time at parkrun last week when some of us slower runners were being lapped and some runners were bearing down on us shouting ‘left‘, some were shouting  ‘right‘, some shouted ‘move‘, one with real aggression at a small child which I consider way out of order.  Meanwhile, the marshals were directing us differently again –  saying ‘keep left‘ in some places and ‘keep right‘ in others.  My default position is to listen to marshals as they can at least be consistent, but I do try to give way to faster runners always.  However, I think sometimes fast runners coming through have no understanding that their shouts are meaningless and often contradict  what other runners who have just come through have been shouting.  So if you are a fast runner and you see slow runners zig zagging and think they are just being awkward, consider that actually we are sometimes trying to please so many different runners requests we have become completely confused and no longer have any blooming idea what would be helpful.


I know, it’s not an amusing point, but it is a sincere one.  If there is official etiquette I wish someone would enlighten me.  My view is a faster runner coming behind shouting ‘coming through on your right/left‘ or even ‘keep right/left‘ is absolutely fine.  Shouting ‘move’ is ignorant and you deserve to be blocked en route (though I would still give way if I had the faintest idea what would be helpful).  To be fair (rant over) it wasn’t that bad at The Trunce, it became clear what path runners were taking and we all gave way as best we could and as our individual fancy dress choices would allow.  Some runners having better visibility and agility than others an account of their costumes.  I was impeded by neither of those issues, only by personal ballast.


So, onward, I don’t know if I was just faster, or if it was because for whatever reason we’d spread out a bit more, but there was no bottle neck at the kissing gate for me this time.  This was good, because you could trot onwards. This was bad for the same reason, no sneaky stopping to admire the view en route.  I also managed to negotiate this gate before the juniors came hurtling back up the bank.  It was like dodging bullets when they did come into view.  How they achieve those speeds on those gradients I do not know.  I jumped into the undergrowth alongside the narrow path at intervals, so they could run on unimpeded, but I was quite relieved when I’d passed the two-way traffic bit.  There was a little gaggle of spectators/ marshals at this point.  Some great supportive clapping was going on, and, fantastically appropriate and skilled use of cow bells too if my ears weren’t deceiving me.  At this point in the proceedings such sounds were cheery and encouraging, but not particularly serving any great practical purpose.   Later on, they were what kept runners on that fine knife-edge between life and death, guiding the lost in the darkness to keep them on the right path and away from scary things.


Reader, I can report that the nights are indeed drawing in.   The run started at 6.45, probably a fraction later, and sunset was officially just before 7.30 I think, so in principle, it shouldn’t have been too dark to run.  However, it was humid, hot and even threatening rain.  In fact at one point big fat droplets did start to fall.  In the wooded parts of the run, I definitely had a sense that it was going to get mighty dark in there.  Whilst horses are supposed to be able to find their way home and have pretty good night vision, Roger is more of a house pony rather than actual pony and I’m not altogether confident in his orientation skills.  The bells were potentially a necessity to get back to base when the night closed in.  I mean he has a lot in common with wild horses as you can see, just not everything.

The first stream was quite fun to splash through.  I was really, really hot, so it was quite refreshing to get stuck in.  Also, it came round much more quickly than I’d remembered, and I felt some relief that I was definitely not at the back of he field so I was probably going to be all right with navigation, i.e. I wouldn’t need to navigate as there’d be someone to follow. This route isn’t marked, so you are dependent on either knowing the route, or being in sight of someone who does.  (They do have more marshals around at the beginning of the season though). Another good thing about the fancy dress finale trunce is that many of the runners had quite eye-catching garb. Time for a few gratuitous other runners shots I think.  Motivation could work in a couple of directions, you might feel inclined to run faster at the sight of the local neighbourhood knife wielding psychopath  coming up behind you for example.  Alternatively you might prefer to hitch a ride with the accommodating bear (having put ethical considerations about animal exploitation aside in favour of pursuing your own personal self-interest) or just want to catch up with your nation’s patron saint.  Takes all sorts after all, the choice is yours.

It’s all a blur to be honest, you have to hoik your weary carcass up a steep, steep hill at one point.  I was not alone in walking this bit, and although I more than once offered to move to the side to let faster runners sprint on by, each and every runner I made this offer too seemed veritably panicked at the thought of doing so. The logic is I suppose, if you are stuck behind a slower runner you can hide behind the familiar if dubious ruse of ‘what can you do, I had no choice but to walk‘ but the moment I gave way, they’d have to try to run up the darned thing, and it was way too steep for that to be an attractive option to all but the hardiest and most masochistic of participants.

At the top of one hill, was a runner with his hands on his hips who had particularly well-defined upper body.  From a distance it was quite ‘impressive’ in an alarming ‘somebody really ought to tell him to work on his legs as well as his torso‘ kind of way.  Only when I got up close did you come to realise it was in fact a rather genius fancy dress.  At least I’m pretty sure it was. I did shout out a bit of constructive criticism on may way past ‘maybe do a bit more leg work‘ he took it well. Thanked me for my interest in his personal training routine. Well, we can all learn from others can’t we?  This is a profile shot of him anyway, silhouetted against the dying light of the sun (not from an apocalyptic nightmare end-of-the-world dying sun that you somehow mysteriously slept through by the way, just from sunset on Trunce night).  Must have been hard running up those hills with those dinky little legs having to carry that massive upper body.   No wonder he was paused admiring the views.  The ‘just paused because I’m looking out for my mates‘ guise, is one I have used myself.  It fools no one…


Once we’d reached the top of the hill, there was a style/ gate malarkey and not many people around.  I followed a woman ahead, along a path where there was a roughly painted sign saying ‘no footpath’ only it did seem to be the way with a well-trodden track leading the way, but once you went down it was alarmingly uneven and steep, in fact, probably not a footpath.  Should have used my own judgement, not followed her perhaps.  (‘So you’d follow someone off the end of a pier would you?’  Probably yes, rather than trust my own navigational and orienteering skills out on the hills in the darkening night.)

Then there was a nice flat bit, through a field which was carpeted in what I at first thought was blown about thick tree pollen, then ground in chicken shit, or possibly saturated cardboard.  No idea what it was, my eyesight is getting really bad and it was twilight by now.  I would have paused to collect a sample for further future investigation, but I really couldn’t be arsed to bend down and scoop it up for analysis.  I was pretty relieved that there were some other runners about as I wouldn’t have known the route, needed to keep up my chase.

The next memorable bit was steep downwards into the woods.  This became genuinely alarming.  Although it was only dusk, under the trees it was completely dark, I could hardly see my feet, and although it wasn’t too muddy, so not slippery as such, tree roots and fallen trees made for a precarious passage down.  I slowed to a crawl, almost literally as I felt my way along hanging onto trees as I passed.  There was a faster runner behind, but he said he was fine  – happy to be taking it slowly because he didn’t want to slip and tumble down and squash me – which was quite a coincidence, as I didn’t want him to do that either.  Spooky, how we were on the same wave length!  I was quite relieved to get to the river at the wood’s edge.  You could hear the odd shriek ahead as it got closer.  I chose to believe it was just people plunging into unexpectedly cold water, rather than runners being violently abducted.  By the time I got there it was pretty deserted, a couple of runners were waiting for friends on the opposite bank.

I remembered this crossing from last time thankfully, as it was quite a steep plunge in, and by now it was dark enough that you couldn’t see the bottom of the stream.  It would have been a serious shock if you’d stepped in expecting it to be ankle-deep and gone in up over your knees.  Poor Roger got his feet wet at this point.  Fortunately we have built up quite a good partnership now, so  I knew he would take me through, and if the worst came to the worst  and I fell, I could land on him and he’d forgive me and be unhurt because actually he is made out of foam and fake fur (don’t tell anyone though, it can be our secret,  especially don’t tell Roger himself, we still have to work in  partnership in future competitions, I really don’t want anything to jeopardise that).


Sploshing out, I headed up the hill (steep again) you go through a rather delicate looking garden gate and it feels like you are just trespassing in someone’s back garden (I hope I wasn’t).  At the top of the hill I was feeling hot and disoriented.  Fortunately there was a whoopee cushion and octopus on hand to help out.  The whoopie cushion was friendly and funny, but I wasn’t overly confident about her instructions. The octopus on the other hand, well, they are known for the intelligence aren’t they cephalopod molluscs, so that was very reassuring, I’m always happy to take advice and direction from octopi/ octopedes and squids too, though they are surprisingly hard to find when you are looking for directions in the average tourist town for some reason.  Also, very classy turn out on the part of this particular octopus.  I’m gutted I can’t find a photo of such a fine specimen. The octopus had a fine green metallic outer skin, and then the tentacles had an  exquisite sucker patterned lining.  Heavy duty armory there, but awesome.   Honestly, my favourite outfit of the evening.  I don’t have a picture of that particular octopus though, so here is a broadly similar one by way of illustration.


Bit of road, trot trot, hot hot, past a man trimming his hedge (not a euphemism), past cows gazing at us with incomprehension, then a sharp left dart down a footpath and back homeward on the route we’d set out on half an hour (ahem) or so, earlier.  It wasn’t quite so dark now as I was out from under the cover of the trees.  I was mightily relieved that I’d be on the wider tracks from hereon-in, I’d have been spooked to still be in the woods in the ever encroaching dark at this stage.  Not the dark per se, but fear of falling or tripping there and being left for dead.  I chickened out of running right up the really steep hill, and saved myself for when it flattened out again.  I was tiring and did a few sideways lurches into gorse bushes (which, FYI, can penetrate leggings, pony wear and body fat more than you might honestly expect).  I did on the whole enjoy myself in a type one fun sort of way, but in the dark of the woods I had a couple of ‘why oh why?’ moments, albeit they were transitory.  I wasn’t the only one though, if this photo is anything to go by.  I hope this poor guy with his head in his hands has recovered, he doesn’t look altogether happy I’d say.  Or maybe he’s fine, and he’s just lost his hat?  I met a witch who had lost her hat in the woods, those low hanging branches are a menace for the taller runner.


Once back on the open road I just gave myself a pep talk to keep going as fast as I could so I’d be at the finish before it was completely pitch.  On the homeward straight were some spectators, visible only because they were holding up their phones to take some snaps of the last few runners cornering to go under the bridge of the way back home.  I thought them brave and ‘game’ to stand where they were, because it was too dark to make them out and in their corner position just as you had to turn and head down hill I was surprised they hadn’t been taken out like so many skittles by runners with too much forward momentum and not enough brakes.  I nearly had them down as I passed, but Roger helped me take evasive action just in time.  Very exciting, it was like horsey barrel racing!


I was so relieved to be going down the hill to the end.  It was pitch by now, but it sort of reminded me of bonfire night.  You know, when you can see people gathered in the dark some distance away and hear the odd  cheer go up as a firework is lit.  It was like that, distant cheers and shouts as returning runners were clapped homeward. It was all very jolly and festive.  Oh and my pants held out just fine too by the way, no chaffing at all.  Marvelous, quite marvelous!

As I approached the finish funnel, I caught sight of my Smiley Buddy in her fine safari hat, she was way ahead of me.  It was nice to be cheered in.  I lingered a little to clap in some of the final finishers. By this time it was seriously dark.  It was fun (retrospectively) running in the woods in the dark, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be out there any longer.  There is a guided runner who does the trunce, I don’t know the extent of her visual impairment, but she is pretty courageous out there.  I did that weird thing though, of thinking  somewhat patronisingly, ‘but how will she cope in the dark?’ but I suppose ironically she’d be faring better than any of us out there, it’s her guide who we needed to worry about.  I saw her romp home just fine – apart from a minor collision with a pole in the finish funnel, the irony of which was lost on no one, given all the other hazards she’d apparently negotiated with ease!

So, that was that, all suddenly over. I felt a bit sad.  It was very dark as we picked our way back to the car.  We never did find our sweets for being in fancy dress, but not to worry, who needs sweets, apple cider vinegar is the way to go now according to a reliable source – finishing in one piece was way better than any  amount of sherbert fountains could possibly have been.  After the event I read somewhere that there was a prize giving of sorts maybe in the pub afterwards, but we didn’t know.  Maybe next year we could go join the fun and heckle from the wings.

So that’s it, Trunce 2016 experienced, enjoyed and understood.  It’s a fantastic innovation in running.  A great location, great concept, celebration of the joy of running and the not always adequately appreciated and embraced delights of doing so in fancy dress.  I’d really recommend this series, and, apart from it being a tad of an early start if you have to commute from Sheffield, little reason not to go.  An absolute bargain at £1.50, that’s only 50p a river crossing.  You’d pay loads more than that for a bottle of Buxton spring water for heaven’s sake, this way you get to bathe in the stuff!

So, thank you to all the organisers for their sterling work throughout the summer and year on year, thanks to supporters for splendid clapping and fellow participants for the warm welcome and camaraderie en route.


Even though I’ve only made it twice this season, I like to think that I am now firmly set on the pathway (if not the fast track) to an ever closer and more enduring relationship.  The Trunce is for life, not just for Christmas.  You become part of its story and it part of yours, forever.  That’s quite something to celebrate and embrace!

If you are on the edge wondering what to do I say jump jump, and see if you can fly (unless you are on a motorway bridge say, (I’m using this as a poetic way of expressing being on the edge of deciding whether or not To Trunce, not on whether or not to jump from a great height.)  Remember only this, The Trunce membership is one relationship that will endure for ever more. Whether  you dabble in the intoxicating waters of this event just once, or a hundred times you will forever be one of the trunce community.  Your number will be uniquely yours in perpetuity, that has to be count for something.  In these modern days of so many transient pleasures and fickle relationships here is one with infinite endurance. Think of it not so much as a cult or spiders web in which you are trapped for eternity, think of it more as a dream like state to which you can constantly return and enjoy again at will.  Or even better, don’t over-think it, just dive right on in.  Literally in this case, bring a change of clothes or you won’t be allowed in the car for a lift home afterwards.

Blistering barnacles indeed! (credit to Jeff for that, whoever you may be..) What an experience!  So see you all again in April 2017.  Remember, what the hell is always the right decision.*


*well, I say, always the right decision, what I really mean is you follow any of my advice at your own risk, obviously.

For accounts of all my Trunce related posts follow this link.

Thank you all the photographers, Tim Hobbs, Julia and Mick Jennings and anyone else who has shared pictures of the event.  You are all stars!

Thank you Marcus Scotney for the shots of the 2016 Great Kinder Beer Barrel Challenge Peak District.

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4 thoughts on “Knickers to the Trunce

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