Running for the pies

Running for the pies

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

4th December: The Grim

Today I ran the Grim, an 8.5 mile extreme XC race where you have to run through puddle after puddle,  and wade through mud that reaches chest deep in parts. This run being my final 'competitive' outing before the marathons get under way.

The start 20 mins before the start
Milling around beforehand

This morning's race was the second of 2, the first being yesterday and I ran it along with my neighbours Guy and his wife Katherine. The weather was overcast and with a wind whipping around it was freezing cold, with the course all churned-up and extra muddy from yesterdays race. Trying to keep warm I wandered around and took some photos of the course... As you can see below there's the scramble-net and it's attendant mud bath and the large waiste-deep puddle near the finish through which you must wade.

Scramble net

The last puddle

Waiting for the start we were given a safety briefing about the course had how to run through puddles successfully. Sure enough just after the start we encountered our first puddle and someone just along from me decided to forget what we were told about not just ploughing in to them and went flying, belly-flopping in to the 6 inches of muddy water much to the amusement of those of us jogging by! Boy that water was cold, but after the initial shock of the temperature and your feet turning in to sensationless lumps of frozen lead, you soon get over it. After the first few puddles you then realise there is no point in avoiding them as you will get soaking feet no matter what, so you just steam through them :)

Just after the scramble net

 The course was fun and the terrain very varied, the highlight must be the scramble-net and watching people fall over in the sandy mud, sinking down so nearly their heads are submerged. You also know the course is not easy when you run past someone's trainer sole lying forlornly on the pathside! There were plenty of long winding inclines, short sharp hills, a section of moguls and an 'obstacle' stretch of railway lines, large stepping stones and logs. All sections wet and all of them muddy as the previous week of rain had just sat there rather than draining away.

A good splash :)

Well I managed it in a decent enough time, finishing in the top 22% of the field, especially with little training beforehand... The whole event was incredibly well organised and a big thanks goes to those people who spent months planning and arranging it all and I will be wearing my 'Grim'll Fix It' finishers tee with pride. I certainly hope to be back for more next year...

Bring on the marathons :)

The last wade before the finish

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