Last years’ Gruesome Twosome was a debut in the mud for Kadi and me, it was also the start of a realisation that we love cross country running and getting caked in the stuff. The Rauceby Ripper was recommended to us by Rich Harrison and we can now add our recommendation to it for Harriers to visit next year. A fantastic course through the grounds and surrounding area of Rauceby Hall, it takes in trail paths, muddy fields, muddier ploughed fields and generally lots of mud. The forecast had been for constant rain, however apart from the odd shower, we were saved from being drenched, except for the splashes from the puddles that littered the course.
Rauceby in South Lincolnshire, is about an hour and half’s drive from Hull and we had originally planned to take in a parkrun before the “Ripper”, but having to get up at 6 to make it down there in time was too much for an idle pair like us, so we resolved to just do the main course and miss the starter. This proved to be a wise choice, as I’d slept in and Kadi was running late too, so we finally made our way at a more civilised 8 am.
We had my trusty sat. Nav. to lead us there, but it soon became apparent that a sat. nav. is only useful if you actually watch and listen to what it’s telling you instead of chattering away. Being a navigator is not one of my strong points, this was never more evident than when we found ourselves going down a single lane road in the middle of nowhere, a matter made worse when we tried to turn round and found ourselves stuck in the muddy verge, wheels spinning and us getting nowhere. Having failed to muster up the strength to push us out of trouble whilst Kadi revved the arse off the car, we swapped places and found that Kadi had the muscle power that I was lacking and we were away. (Nothing to do with my superior driving skills of course).
We made our way to the village Hall, were we met Rich Harrison who’d actually been and done the local parkrun, collected our numbers and chips, then it was a short walk to the start. The course was a real pleasure apart from the ubiquitous strong winds, with steady ascents and descents, rather than the nasty steep stuff we’ve been getting used to on our Brantingham training runs, it was however a long hard slog and it was a real relief when we passed the final steward who told us there was a mile and half to go, this last mile and a bit seemed to take forever and it was a real relief to reach the finish line. A quick walk back to the village hall to collect our well stocked goody bag (including a very nice medal) then it was my turn to push the car off the grass, getting splattered in mud at the same time much to Kadi’s delight. I was tempted to wipe the mud on her car seat, but having witnessed her super strength earlier in the day decided it would be wise not to.
We finished the adventure off with a visit to the local pub which was actually Michelin rated, it was considered that we might be a bit too working class for such high standards, but decided to give it a go anyway and it’s fair to say we made the right choice, having a not too expensive rib eye steak and brie sandwich with a couple of decent pints to wash it down. A cracking end to a cracking day.