So, many you may be of the opinion that we can’t really get much dirtier than we already are.
Well, you would be wrong. For today, we got very wet and very dirty.
We also had a whole lot of fun. Thank you Hellrunner.
Arriving at Longmoor army camp in beautiful Hampshire we had a little glimpse of what the day may bring when The Rollerskate almost got stuck in the mud.
Much reving of engine and praying to the god of grip followed and bless her, she moved forward.
Time to register as Flic’s chip hadn’t arrived in the post. On the way to registration we pass the infamous Bog of Doom. It looks deep, cold and like it might have eels in it. This is meant to a running race, not an aquathon.
Sam to Flic: “Er, how exactly does this help with our training?”
Flic to Sam: “Er, it was your idea.”
We decide to blame our mate Chris, who rather unchivalrously (or sensibly) has decided to wait in the the nice warm car.
Have we mentioned its Baltic? It’s Baltic.
Registration found. Ooooh, Builder bar samples.
How many can we eat without it being obvious we are gonna hoover up the whole plate?
With our bellies full of Builders (turns out you can snaffle quite a few without getting told off) we register, get told we’re gonna get wet and muddy – er, no shit Sherlock – and head back to the car for some defrosting before race time.
Initially we said the “race” was going to be a bit of fun. Then Flic saw other girls and that competitive spirit kicked in. Uh oh.
For Flic, race mode is activated when she sees another lady in front of her. It’s then entirely out of her control. Tractor beam goes on and tempo goes up. Eventually they all come in. Today this happened about 30 mins into the race. Another 15 mins or so and the dirty duo had been split (Flic finished 2nd, Sam 4th – could have been third if she hadn’t got too carried away with the filthiness and spent too long getting grubby in the numerous bogs).
Anyway, back to the race.
1) The Bog of Doom. A circa 50m (this is Flic’s estimate of length though so don’t take it as gospel) stretch of muddy, cold, rancid water. It was so deep that as both of us are a little on the petite side, there was a fear of drowning. In fact it was so deep that ironically, non swimmer Flic started breaststroking…although that might have been to keep warm as on emergence from the water both of us had one of those lightbulb moments and understood how you boys must feel when your bits go numb!
2) The hills. Some serious climbs. All about those toes and pumping your arms. Feeling the pain and ignoring it. Luckily with both of us wearing Inov8s we didn’t have to worry too much about grippage. Best off-roaders EVER (shameless plug).
3) The naughtiness. There is nothing more fun than splashing through a puddle and getting someone who was trying to evade said puddle wet and dirty. Not that we did that. Much. Honest.
4) The evilness. The clever people at TrailPlus organised a race to live up to its name. After the Bog of Doom you face several more bogs. Bogs you slide down to, scramble out of, slide back down to, scramble out of…you get the picture. Then, and this is pure genius, after the bogs, with just over a mile to go you hit the sand. The sand serves to clog up your shoes and entirely sap your legs of any strength they might have had left. It’s not flat sand running of course. Oh no. There are more hills. Brilliant. Thanks Hellrunner.
To be honest there aren’t any lowlights. Apart from some of the bare bums we glimpse at the end of the race as male runners de-robe. We don’t see much else. It is cold after all. Shame.
So, another event ticked off the list and one that has delivered some great off season training.
First and foremost it was fun. Both of us were buzzing afterwards and raring to go again. And the endless hills can’t help but make us stronger.
Hellrunner. We bow down to you. See you next year.