Cleeve Cloud Cuckoo Race 30th May 2018


After a hard month of fell running with 2 Bob Graham supports and a 37 mile fell race what could be better than a short holiday in the Cotswolds to wind down and relax? A multi terrain race on a big hill in misty weather! Cleeve Cloud Cuckoo race where do I sign up?


I came across the race by accident. We found a seat dedicated to a former member of Almost Athletes a local running club in Cheltenham. I looked them up and found their regular Wednesday offroad training session was cancelled the next night due to a local race. The event is organised by Cheltenham and County Harriers and attracts around 100 participants.

A long way from home

The Cleeve Cloud Cuckoo race started and finished at the strangest golf course I have ever seen. Sheep and cows grazing on the fairways and greens of the course. A decent sized field of over 100 gathered at the start. The now obligatory team photographs were taking place all around me. I felt a bit out of place and 250 miles from home. The pre race briefing “avoid the livestock” didn’t take long and we were off.

I tucked in behind the front runners in about 6th place and felt comfortable for the first mile of a mostly a gradual uphill climb. As the course began undulating I started to struggle especially losing places on the flat parts although I was still able to outrun those around me on the hills.

Coming into the last mile I was working hard and clinging onto a place in the top ten but I could hear other runners catching up behind. As we started up the last hill they attacked me and each other with the lead in our little group changing hands a few times as we snaked around the trig point. I pushed on and headed the group on the last half mile downhill. Unfortunately the legs didn’t have it and all three passed me on the final decent. A quick look around showed I wasn’t under pressure from anyone else and I subconsciously let out a little cheer.

Post race

I finished in thirteenth place completing the 5.6 miles in 40.57. A nice friendly race with a few hills and enough flat bits to keep everyone happy. It was well marshalled and taped. It seems like there is a vibrant running scene in Cheltenham with someone to suit everyone. I’m hoping to try the Parkrun on Saturday.

We hope you enjoyed reading about the Cleeve Cloud Cuckoo race. Let us know in the comments if you would like to take part in this event.

Read more posts on our Dreaming of the fells blog page.

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