The history of the Full Monty will be published here later in the year
The event has been organised by Crewkerne Running Club for the past 18 year, but has its origins earlier see below.
The Full Monty-Cute Trail Race- Brief History 1999
The event was born out of an idea that was put forward at one of the running clubs ‘pub runs’ at The Rose and Crown at Dinnington (known as ‘The Docks) in the summer of 99.
Yeovil Town Running club had organised a popular cross country run from Stanchester School for the previous half dozen or so years at the beginning of December. This event called ‘The Mud Run’ was of about 6 miles and took in parts of Ham Hill and as far as I can remember took in the steep hill up to St Michaels’ Tower. Fred and Sue from our club had got wind that Yeovil were not organising the event anymore and suggested to those present at the pub that we could take over the running of an event at the same venue. We left the pub with the notion of the event being of between 6 and 7 miles. I thought it was going to be called The Slippery Six or Seven.
After a couple of weeks where we approached the Yeovil club who were happy for us to take on the event, a sub committee was formed of 4 members. The name of ‘The Full Monty-Cute came from the ‘Foxes’ I think as the Film of the similar name was out about the same time.
One of the sub committee was Heather who happened to be the Head Gardener at the nearby National Trust Property of Montacute House. With this contact we had permission to use the House as our base for the event with all its facilities. This has turned into a good relationship with the property where they benefit with added visitors and donations from the event.
Fred and Sue Fox set to work in sorting out a route while others sorted out publicity and entry forms. The 6 or 7 miles turned into over 8 miles. Some of the route will be familiar to those who have run the event recently. Ladies Walk, The High Wood, Bagnell Farm, Pease Hill to Greenham Cross were in. The route then went North of Ham Hill Monument before the current Hedgecock Hill Wood and St Michaels Hill.
The first event was a success with 132 entries (123 finishers).
The Full Monty-Cute Trail Race-
2000 to 2007
With more time to organise this event attracted and increased field and Fred modified the route. The route in the High Wood was changed to take the higher path as the lower path was blocked. From Greenham Cross the routed crossed over to the Nelson Pub at Norton Sub Hamdon. The section North was along a flooded lane then cross to the Bungalow on Ham Hill.
Again a few route tweaks were carried out, this increased the hills to the current ‘8’ and the distance to somewhere between 9 and 10 miles. The Council had opened up access to Horses Wood, so we took the opportunity to take in this lesser known area of Ham Hill which passes the Lake that was part of the wider Montacute Estate of yesteryear. Tinkers Bubble and Butchers Hill were added to create the almost figure of eight route.
A minor change to the route at Butcher hill added a little extra length with views down to the runners behind you. And yes we did have a drinks station with more than squash and H2O !
The route was measured with a Garmin Summit GPS unit for the first time so we increased the section in the park at the beginning to make it up to 10 miles and help break up the field before the first road crossing and the path up Ladies walk.
Entries were so popular we had so many entries turn up on the day that we ran out of running numbers.
Because of the demand of 2003 we decided not to accept entries on the day and the event was full by mid November.
Entries were even more in demand and entries were closed by the end of October.
Over the years the weather seems to have always kind to us. This continued in 2006, the trouble was that that the South West was hit by high winds the night before causing several road closures in the area including the road from Yeovil to Montacute and several minor route. The intrepid race direct set out at 7:30 to check the vunerable sections of the race route to find the route block. Armed with bow saw in hand this was cleared only to receive phone calls from others about other blockages. After checking in at the house, man with saw made safe some other areas and got to the start with 10 minutes to go. The runners set of with a few more hurdles to tackle but the conditions were fine.
The weather on race day was windy (very at times) with short sharp downpours. This was before the race start but once under way the only real challenge apart from the course was the wind especially on the exposed areas. It certainly blew away the cobwebs. Entries were closed by the end of September. We actually had our first entries at the end of January. In fact these two runners were so keen the entered again in June !
The tenth running of the event. This turned into a classic event in the end but started off as organisers nightmare. By September we had already had well over 100 entries and they were coming in thick and fast when we discovered that our hosts at Montacute House had double booked us (with Santa's Grotto of all things !). We tried to resolve this situation and were offered the week before or after, but we felt that this was not really possible to change the dates, so frantically looked for an alternative Race HQ. We contacted the very helpful Rangers up on Ham Hill and the agreed to host us. The next month or so were a hive of activity trying to change the route to include this new venue. The mile of running in the Park had to be replaced with some extra distance elsewhere and a suitable start/ finish point, catering, car parking etc etc all had to be resolved. All club members mucked in to help out. All runners had to be sent details of the revised starting points and the route.
In the end we came up with a route that was about 1/2 mile longer than the previous route, but still took in all the existing hills but in a different order !. The 2 killer hills that were previously placed at miles 8 to 9.5, were now the first two hills within the first 3 miles. with our sometimes sadistic route planning the first hill 'moved' and got steeper and longer and was named ' Harwood Hill' , This hill also needed a rope to help with the ascent.And not to be outdone the 2nd hill also got longer. We reaccessed the route and decided to classify it as having 10 hills.
The lead up to race day saw the route to be the usual muddy as hell, but a few days before we had a cold snap and race day dawned to be a very cold but bright frosty morning. The puddles had turned to Ice and most of the mud to 'Rock'. Everyone had a wonderful time in this winter wonderland. Chris Burton from YTRRC and Jenny Moore from Wells City were the winners. 237 finishers.
We decided to stay with the new Race HQ and route. The events quota of entries were full by the end of September and all plans were in hand for another event. This year we had a lot of rain before the event and the whole route was very soft underfoot, although the first 2 miles before the killer hills had be laid with woodchip and was now a good relatively even path, the rest of the route was extra energy sapping. Race day dawn to yet another dry and relatively bright Sunday morning.
Not sure why but after opening the event for entries at the end of May we had quite a few entries in June and July and steady entry levels all the way to September where things speeded up but entries were not full until into November. This year we decided to change caterers (Mike from Hinton) and also to invite the Help For Heroes ladies with their Cake stall.
We employed the Crewkerne Army cadets to assist us with Car Parking as we felt we needed to monitor the parking during the event.
The build up couple of weeks saw an early cold snap with all sorts of problems up North and on the East side of the Country. Despite it being dam cold in South Somerset we escaped the snow until the Wednesday before the race, This was not much but was enough to create problems on minor roads. On checking the race HQ and a little of the course on the Friday before the race the road to the parking areas and the car parks themselves were covered in compacted snow but just about useable and the course covered in a powdery snow.
Overnight it got warmer and rained quite a bit, then it froze again. Pavements were sheet ice, Clive from the club went up to Ham hill to mark out his section to find large stretches of the route had turned into sheet Ice, Martin asked what the car parks were like and although the roads were now clear the access to the parks was like a skating rink. Martin, Derek and Clive met up at Ham hill to access what to do. At this time I (Martin) was thinking of cancelling. But as we looked the ice was melting and more rain was due.
After some agonising we decided to pick up 5 bags of rock salt and go for it banking on the thaw.
Race morning dawned with a pea souper of fog. As the sun tried to come up over Ham hill the temperatures actually dropped below freezing and the top road and race HQ got quite slippery but by the time competitors started to arrive things had warmed up. And the race start was in the Sun but the fog and mist were not too far away.
Some sections of the route still were rather icy but others were muddy so made for a good run where runners had to concentrate on conditions under foot. Chris Burton stormed to his 3rd race victory in a row (by 3 minutes).
230 runners finished in sunshine to pick up their Christmas pudding and Space blanket.
2011, 2012 and 2013
The event continues to attract entries from far and wide and by mid September to early October we are having to turn runners away. The 2013 nearly had an issue with our Christmas puddings. We had ordered the 300+ Christmas pudding which arrived just before the end of November. A week later we had a phone call to say that the supplies had recalled most of the pudding and told us to dispose of those we had and they would provide replacements. This was only a week before the event. The replacements did not arrive until the day before the event. We have since found out that another event had to end up contacting its runners as the recall came after the event !
2014 / 2015
Another two successful years. 2015 was another dry event and hot about 13 degrees.
Another slight tweak to the route. We had to remove 'Harwood Hill' due to erosion, but replaced this with another smaller climb up to St Michaels Tower (no rope required). Conditions were cold but clear and sunny. About 2 to 4 degrees. Race start had to be moved beyond a rather large puddle that had turned to ice.