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Are you tough enough for Tough 10?

by Susie Chan
Friday 2nd December 2016
Cancer Research already has a succession of highly successful races with their Race for Life series, Moonwalks and presence in high profile marathons.
Of course the research into cancer is ongoing, and Cancer Research UK has opened up a new series of races, aimed at those that want a little more of a challenge.
Called Tough 10, I joined them for one.
These 11 new 10K races are spread out across the UK. They are set mainly on the trails and are of varying degrees of toughness underfoot. I opted for the one that was nearest to me, and judged “Toughest” on their own difficultly rating.
Box Hill, the famous cycle destination set nestled in the Surrey Hills, was the scene. It is not too bad to cycle up due to the slalom style road that weaves it way up to the crest of the hill. Off road there are various ways to ascend it, and the race brief said we would be going up it twice. I was familiar with it from training and it has featured in a few races I have completed too. In the way that runners can blot things out, I had managed to entirely forget how hard it is to run up Box Hill. 
Myself and around 500 runners converged in a field at the foot of the hill as the crisp morning sun shone on us all. It was a beautiful day, and as ever with CRUK events, the atmosphere was jolly! I had cajoled a group of friends to join me. Shaun, Sophie, Ben, Michelle, Andy, my brother Alan and I all pinned on our numbers and did not have long to wait before the starting klaxon saw us over the line.
A fast flat start brought us to the foot of the Box Hill steps… and up we went. And up, and up and up, and… I don’t remember this many steps?! Up and up we went until, finally we popped out of the trees and treated to the most fantastic clear view of Surrey. No time to stop and stare though, we headed off on to some runnable trails and then onto more trail hill climbs.
Each time I thought it must be time to descend, a corner was turned and more thigh-burning hill running ensued.
The highest point of the race was marked out by a “segment” . This timed section was for those who had enough energy left in their legs to see who could climb the final ascent the fastest. A woeful effort from me, as my legs had all but ceased to be able to run up another hill by this point! More fantastic views before the sharp descent down the steps, and back along the flat section to the cheers of the finish line.
It was a great race, and indeed tough. Over 1100ft of thigh-burning elevation in 6.2 miles, great views and of course all for a great cause. 
If you fancy a go at a Tough 10 race, details are here:

About The Author

Susie Chan

Susie Chan is an endurance runner, who runs all sorts of races from 1 mile to 100 miles and beyond. Her favourite races are multistage ultras. Find her on Twitter @susie__chan Instagram @susie_chan_ or read about her races on her blog www.susie-chan.com

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