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  • Writer's pictureIan Marshall

Vigo Tough 10 (10.6 miles/1400’)

Updated: Oct 9, 2020

A new race for the 2020 Fell Grand Prix. Sunday dawned in the middle of storm Dennis, a 6am final weather check by the organisers – the race was on. It just seemed like proper Lakeland fell race weather! The event isn’t classed as a fell race but it isn’t much different from Box Hill which is. Seven Harriers braved the elements and 154 runners turned up at Vigo rugby club near Wrotham. The rain relented just  before the start. From the start you realised just how wet the ground was when you had to splash round the rugby field before heading out into woods. The paths were quite narrow and it was easy to get stuck in traffic whilst some tried to miss the deep puddles on the track – why?

After about 2 miles there was a split with the 10K veering off, Pat Austin was already doing the 10K but Ian decided to dip out of the 10 miler and join him.

No team photo but above pictures shows that hill at 9 miles

Despite the weather this is a lovely though quite testing 10.6 mile course with a stiff and very slippy climb at 9 miles. Some very muddy downhills which caught out lots of people running in ‘flats’. Lots of great views over the North Downs . A testing climb up a narrow tarmac lane led onto a long track alongside the Pilgrims Way before dropping down at about 8 miles and passing very close to the Coldrum Long Barrow, a Neolithic burial site built 1000 years before Stonehenge. Now look to the right and you can view the challenge of the final climb. Once at the top it was back into the woods for a final mile run back trying to avoid the completely flooded tracks, suddenly the rugby goalposts come into view through the trees and to the finish.

The race was won by John Whittaker of Gravesend Road Runners in 1:17 which was 8 mins slower than 2019, perhaps testament to the conditions. Liz Weeks of Tonbridge AC was first lady in 1:27.

Here is a 5 min video of the start (not a mass finish!) splash around the rugby field. We are all in there somewhere – Start of Vigo 10 (miles & Kilo)

Results Men (10 miles)

1              John Whittaker               1:17:11                  Gravesend RR

30           Graham Maynard             1:33:37

82           Steve Brown                      1:48:44

85           Clem Dixon                         1:49:32

86           Paul Kent                             1:49:39

120         Peter Hadley                      2:05:35


1 (14)    Liz Weeks                            1:27:48                  Tonbridge AC

156 finished

Results (10K)

1              Patrick Bower                    45:24     UA

22           Pat Austin                           59:55

65           Ian Marshall                       85:22


1 (2)       Victoria Croucher             45:30     UA

76 finished


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