The 2013 Brutal run through the mud at the Bordon Health Spa is now available here:
The results are available here: http://brutalrun.co.uk/results/
The 2013 Pewsey Terminator Gallery is now live here:
The race website is here, but we've not see the results yet: http://www.pewseyvalerunningclub.org/races_theterminator.aspx
The Fourth round of the Thetford MTB series is now live and online here
So one day of the weekend at a time - Saturday
|getting Grr for the Brutalisation to follow|
Brutal 10, Bordon Heath. Saturday. Working hours 6am to 1am. Gallery live 11pm.
There is not a lot to add to the commentary that has been going on the Brutal Facebook page - these superbly organised races are a challenge for everyone and enjoyable for most - suffice to say it was cold, but warmer in the woods out of the wind, and even warmer in the fermenting mud. Fast young things with no real body mass basically had the upper hand as they floated over the mud like gazelles leaping from alligators, whilst some preferred to take the more intimate approach as used by other wild animals of the African continental shelf when faced with a mudbath...
Either way, I can confirm that when you are kneeling in it, cold, and smelly, shivering and getting patted on the shoulder with muddy hands by runners as they wade past whilst trying to keep the lens clean - the only way to stay warm and fight off hypothermia is to shout. Loudly. and immerse yourself in your own world of dark humour. Well that's what I do ;-)
So, to all those who took the not very muddy route which was some 20 yards round the long way and so far off the course I could hardly see you for the trees - to whom I was hurling the insults of "woosy" and "lightweights", I apologise. I have not catalogued your images with those terms as threatened - but you will still have the humiliation of having to explain to your friends at work who you show the pictures to just exactly why you weren't covered in mud, yet the other person in the picture can only be seen from the waist up. But as I said, shouting loudly at you did keep me warm, so for that I thank you.
As usualy the exceptional organisation of the Brutal has given it the reputation it deserves from the experience itself to the smoothness of the nearby carparking, toilets logistics and the on site catering from Tom. David, Colin and Allan will be having another one soon at the next Brutal at Windmill Hill on the 16th of March - and you can enter that here http://brutalrun.co.uk/
So, you're asking how muddy was it. Well - here's a little look, more if you see lower down.
|Cheaper than a health spa, and just as relaxing|
Pewsey Terminator, Sunday Working hours 6:30am to 12:30am, 9am - Gallery live Monday 3:20pm.
It was our first time to cover this race so a new experience for us at the Terminator. You can always get a good feeling for a race from the organisation when you start to approach an HQ. With Marshals and signs to car parking and the HQ from about a mile away, you know it's all going to be a slick team operation - and so it proved to be.
After checking in with Robert (quite how we can now walk into a crowded sports hall, and find a race director who has no identifying marks on him as the first person we talk to I don't know, must be 10 years practice), it was a quick course update, and then off to our various points on the course (here's a map - http://goo.gl/maps/5lQPJ )
Unfortunately the stream leap at 4km was cancelled due to the landowners concerns about some of the current drainage, and despite walking through the area to get a shot just minutes before the lead runners arrived - the route marking didn't show them going through the bog after the old stream leap - it showed the route over the bridge and out up to the field - so we took shots a little further up the hill after it. You can imagine we are still a bit confused when we saw some other photos of people running through the bog. To be honest, it was only ankle deep, and not really anything compared to the River crossing near the finish, and compared to the Brutal the day before - it was simply a puddle in relative terms - but it's a shame we did miss it and we're still scratching our heads as to how that could have been. All explanations welcome - including ninja marshals changing the route at the last minute !
|Royal Navy going clear at the front|
Sunday was as cold as Saturday, but with added wind to make it even more very cold indeed. Even at the canal, with the wind on my back any exposed skin or layers that didn't stop the wind - were painful very quickly. Even two coats didn't quite cut it for me. The ice on the canal was a clue as to how cold it was when sat still doing nothing major in terms of body movement. One weird sight (which I should have photographed) was a crab claw (or crayfish claw) about three inches long and 1.5inches wide - next to what I hope was an otter burrow hole in the bank, and just further along was a pile of muscle shells. Clearly a well fed otter...
We covered the race from 7 points, Seba made his way from the Canal over to the slopes for a bit of a climb and then the white horse shot, we went from the canal back to the river Avon (stream) crossing and the Finish. If you were out of the wind, it was ok for about two hours, but any longer and the cold penetrated the feet and the circulation starts to shut down, which isn't too nice and takes a further two hours to warm up again.
The runners seemed to fair better, Charlie Pennington from the Royal Navy - more used to being seen doing triathlons - took to the front and ripped up the course ahead of him with scant regard for gravity or atmospheric conditions. The rest all seemed to be a bit more prepared for a 19km of hard hills, mud and wind and about 2hrs of near lethal cold exposure. The water dip through the River Avon made for a special moment at the end of the race - from full blown two footed jumping into the air and landing, running through, to almost trying to traverse along the wall rather than just stand in ankle deep water !
Scroll down to see a few of the pictures from the day.
Very well done to the race organisers and the team from PVRC on a clockwork execution of the race - the car parking, marshalling, to the check-in hall and the race marking all seemed very well practised - and certainly one I wouldn't hesitate to advise others to enter (it's just that 19k like that is too far for me!, plus I'll be working).
|The Back Sweeper team - clearing the route as they ran - makes it hard work !|
Up and coming events
The next few weeks need your entries - get in when you can !
- The last G3 - off road hilly 10k
- The Steyning Stinger - very similar to the Terminator - entries now full
- The ETL Spitfire and Tempest - prime marathon training - entries on the day
- The Roding Valley Half Marathon - East London urban half marathon - entries on the day
- Back to the Trenches - an obstacle challenge with elements of Brutal to it
- The Lydd Half - country road half marathon in Kent
- The Worthing 20 - prime marathon training on road
The South of England Cross Country Championships gallery is proving to be quite popular - if you were there make sure you get your shots from the day - they will make a lasting memory for your running CV for those at the start of their running careers, or those somewhere in the middle...
So here's a few shots from the weekends action !Brutal first -
|Determination into the finish|
|Ladies first !|
|action man hands froze into place|
|It's a health spa right ?|
|Excellent finish line effort|
|The reluctant look of acceptance, another with her eyes shut, and in the background, loyal trust.|
|Tripping along in the falling snow|
|anyone seen my spare shoe ? he said talking to the small dog on his arm|
|yes they came back up for air|
|Anyone seen my wedding ring ?|
|Be careful where you put those muddy hands|
|The swamp alligator kicked up a load of splash with their tail|
|I'd love to know what 460 was thinking. Meanwhile - it was Hug a Hoodie Marshal !|
|She must have stubbed her toe on the bottom|
|nothing like a solid bit of wood to grip onto when it's slippy|
|He carried his invisible shield and swept all before him|
|owchy, muddy nail|
|yes, they threw her in head first to test the depth as a sacrifice|
|Some decided to swim across|
|He still had a readybrek glow|
|walking on water was easy for some|
|Yet at the same time, all was not smiles|
|Marshalling - everywhere|
|Dragging friends through made it more fun|
|Only ankle deep|
|Oi ! no stopping !|
|up the first incline and off to the hills after the mud|
|Ride the race Gangham style|
|putting in almost too much at the end|
|Flying in at the finish|
|Batman can't fly, so he ran in|
|The best leopard skin leggings all race|
|made it up and round the white horse !|
|Yes, he came back|
|Running down that hill, Pewsey in the distant background|
|wolverine and the horse|
|He decided he was not worthy to keep up with the runners ahead...|
So that's it this week,
Until next time - get yourself up and out to those races we cover and I hope to see you sometimes soon, keep warm in the cold !
All the best