This was meant to be a training blog but unfortunately I’ve not done much training and Sean hasn’t done much blogging. We did, however, this weekend do a lot of running.
The rough schedule of events planned in the run up to Tough Guy 2011 was to do the Grim 8 for the fourth time* at the beginning of December, then do a new race, Run Rampage in the middle of January. Unfortunately due to the rather cold and snowy conditions in the UK in December the Grim was postponed**. Obviously we were gutted. Sean and Fiona did manage to find some joy in the sadness as I had been slated to miss the Grim due to the poor excuse of being on a work trip, now I would be free to join in the muddy fun whenever it was re-scheduled for.
I’m sure you can guess what’s coming. The Grim was rescheduled for the same weekend as Run Rampage. Of course being sensible people we weighed up the pros and cons of running two races on tiring multi terrain courses back to back and decided stuff, it we’d give it a go.
This may have been a mistake.
The Grim went well, we knocked seven minutes off last year’s time. The water was far warmer than in previous years and there was an awful lot more if it than in previous years too, this was due to the heavy rain of late. As per usual we hung at the back and slowly picked off the stragglers. It was, as ever, very well ran and more investment seems to have been poured into it. I base this purely on the fact there were cheery posters dotted around the course and a gaggle of rubber ducks in one of the major water hazards. One of which may or may not have been rescued and treated to a lift around the rest of the course in one of the camelbaks, it may have also then been treated to the full Run Rampage course the next day.
The t-shirt was also of top notch quality this year and for the first time ever there was a goody bag which was full of useful stuff. Legs complaining a bit, we went to the pub, checked into our hotel, had a kip , dinner, more sleep and so we are set for day two. Well once Fiona had been dispatched for strong painkillers and brufen.
Run Rampage is a brand spanking new race, which I think I became aware of it via Twitter. There seems to be several extreme or multi terrain races popping up and all seem to follow me, not sure why. Anyway, it fitted in with the training plan and the thought process went something like, if we can do eight miles round one tank track, we can certainly do six around another. Plus this offered a free t-shirt, a goody bag and a medal. How could we say no?
Being a new race the field was much much smaller, one of the organisers informed us at the end that they thought about 100 people had not turned up due to the Grim re-schedule. There were also a lot of thin people in the field, so our hopes of not coming last were not high.
The course was very similar, initially, to the Grim, a little bit more off-roady and then the hills came in. I say hill but that small word doesn’t do justice to the sheer steepness of these things. Imagine looking at a road and thinking bloody hell, you’d need a tank to get up that and you’re there.
After half a dozen or so of those, the course flattened out, got a little bit wetter, though not much. We finished fourth from last in just over one hour thirty six. The medal is lovely, the t-shirts not as good as the Grim’s and also only available in large, we assume they didn’t expect non-racing snakes to do the race. The goody bag was also disappointing, containing a copy of the Southern Running Guide and nowt else. However for a brand-spanking new race it was better organised than we thought, although having the nearest parking over a kilometre away from the start was a bit annoying.
So legs aching, the proud owners of two(!) free t-shirts and a shiny medal, we can look forward to Tough Guy in two weeks. Full report once the inevitable hypothermia has been dealt with.
*Well Sean and Fiona’s fourth time, I missed the 2008 run due to my idiotic knee, that this year saw the best run time ever posted by Team Iceds in the Grim is completely coincidental.
**Not because it was too cold too run the race, rather because it was to dangerous of cars to access the site.