A few weeks ago I was reading an article that said the Marathon Du Medoc is an event that must be competed in if you like good food and drink and are partial to a bit of running. Instead of your usual energy faire at the pit stops it features wine, cheese and lots of other delicacies. Something in one of my grey cells flashed and I recalled seeing that there was a local Devonshire event that did something similar. It was the Delicious Dart Trail which was expanding this year to also include the Delicious Drake’s Trail. A 10 or 15 mile jaunt from Buckland Abbey, near Plymouth, through the countryside visiting a number of local eating and drinking establishments. It promised something like a minimum of 10 samples for those on the 10 miler and 16 for those on the 15 miler. The theme for this year was Elizabethans and Armadas, so I grabbed an entry and dug out the jester costume recently sent to me by www.joke.co.uk.
The Delicious Drake’s Trail did a great job of attracting a wide variety of runners and non-runners, many of whom decided to come in fancy dress. Some were massively more elaborate than others, such as those dressed as galleons. Really, they were, although I failed to get a picture of them at the time. I am sure there will be some floating around the internet soon and I will get one on here if I can. As you can see from the pictures my jester costume stayed intact from the run. Stuart joined me as a jester and we also bumped into Mark who was dressed as a giant pink fairy. Mark pulled this off with aplomb and seemed to be fancied by both ladies and gentlemen on the way around. He also seemed remarkably comfortable in the costume….
The Delicious Drake’s Trail is not a timed event, and it is not a race. Instead it features some mileage, some eating and a lot of fun. Unusually for a running event the slower people are set off first, so that you all come together as the event goes on. You can of course time yourself, which we did, but there is no prize for first place. Instead the prizes are for the best costume, the person who best embraced the spirit of the event, and the person who raised the most money for the event charity CHICKS.
The race started at the picturesque Buckland Abbey and finished at the spacious Moorland Garden Hotel that was also running its own food fair on the day. The route was adventurous and picturesque with quite a lot of very good signage over moorland, around heather and along typical squirrely English footpaths. It also went through towns and villages such as Crapstone, Gem Bridge, Grenofen, Tavistock, Whitchurch Down, Whitchurch, Horrabridge and Yelverton. It also took in the beautiful Buckland Monochorum. At each one of these there were stops with food, drink and delicacies.
All of the food providers and hosts did a wonderful job of keeping us fed, so a big thanks to:
- Ox Yard Restaurant
- Red Rock Brewery
- Little Bake House of Downgate
- Riverford Organics
- Drake Manor Inn
- Leigh Farm
- The Garden House at Crapstone
- The Halfway House
- Palmers of Tavistock
- Dartmoor Cycles
- High T’s Fudge
- The Bedford Hotel (Best booze stop with red and white wines as well as canapés and Jail Ale)
- Blackadon Barns
- JB Preserves
- Langage Farm
- Charles Stevenson Wines
- The Royal Oak
- Dartmoor Brewery
- Sandford Orchards
- Whitchurch Inn
- The Leaping Salmon
- Honey’s Bakery
- The London Inn
- Devon Tors Inn (My favourite with the yummy chicken Pitas)
- Rock Inn
Of course also a massive thanks to Kate Treleaven who put this event together and was dashing around like a nervous mother making sure that everything was ok. Of course she may slap me around the back of the head for saying that the next time that she bumps into me 🙂
There were a couple of small glitches, but nothing too major considering that this was the inaugural event. It looks like a couple of signs got pinched or lost and we took two wrong turns in the Tavistock area, so perhaps some extra signs, and some placed a little higher than casual reach would be a good idea. One of these wrong turns did mean that we missed the stop in Whitchurch, but got back on route by the Whitchurch Inn. We didn’t worry too much as this isn’t a timed event, so no one was going to disqualify us. We still ended up doing 17 miles, so be warned for the future that it is a touch long (I was happy about this as I would rather an event is long instead of short, but not everyone feels that way.) The other glitch was that there really wasn’t very much plain water on offer throughout. Of course I am sure that any of the pubs we stopped in would have topped up our bottles if we had really needed it. It wasn’t really an issue for us.
Over all this event was a lot of fun from start to finish. It was great to see so much support from the local establishments and I for one will be taking my family back to at least a couple of them in the future. The food fair at the end was also a nice touch as it meant plenty of folks at the finish and it also kept the competitors friends and families entertained while they waited.