The Rye Ancient Trails 30k and 15k
The Rye Ancient Trails has been designed by top runners Sam Murphy and Jeff Pyrah to take in the best of the local trails. Starting in Rye Town Centre to the sound of the Town Crier, the route starts with a tour of the town, escaping through the walls at the Landgate. Heading towards the military canal, you could be forgiven for assuming that this will be a smooth flat run – but you soon turn upwards and cross the first stile, traversing what feels like someone’s back garden.
From here on you have an undulating run across fields and farmland, through picture postcard villages and around the orchards that provide the apple juice featured at some of the feed stations. There are many stiles and gates but these absolutely give you the chance to take in the Weald views. The route takes you through several villages each with their own history and feed-station delicacy. This included biltong in Iden, bread and butter pudding in Northiam and apple juice in Peasmarsh. (other energy sources were also available) The 15K option goes as far as Peasmarsh before turning to loop back to Rye.
I did the 30K and for a little while had that feeling that I was the only one on the longer course before seeing and hearing the other runners also tackling the distance. The 30K option continues along some lanes to pick up the Sussex Border Path and some delicious homemade cake. After running up to the church at Northiam it really felt like I was on the homeward stretch and only 10K to go. This final 10K started with some shady woodland which provided some pleasant relief from the warm, autumn sun. There were some more definite ups and downs before it levelled out on the approach to Rye.
Re-joining the canal I watched the distance tick over 30K with marshals cheerily telling me I only had a mile or so to go (It’s a trail race after all – nobody minds too much about the exact distance, right?). The finish line was a welcome sight – with medal, goody bag and a free beer to collect before signing up to a post race massage.
Once recovered, Rye is a great place to explore. You’ll find tea-rooms with chunks of cake, great views towards the harbour to enjoy ice cream and pubs aplenty for some liquid refreshment.
The 2019 race is on September 8th and full details can be found here https://ryeancienttrails.com/
Do this race if:
– You like trail running
– You don’t mind a few obstacles (in the form of stiles and gates)
– You want a long run in preparation for an autumn marathon
Don’t do this race if:
– You’re looking for a flat, road race
– You want to stay local
– You’re hung up on precise distances