Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The Grim 2011

Sunday morning, one week on from the Hellrunner, time to put on my oldest pair of trainers and head out the door to my latest planned race...The Grim.

The weather was not as kind as the previous weekend, and the temperature was more what you would expect for the time of year.

The Grim takes part on the Army vehicle training grounds in Aldershot a short drive from where I live. As with most races I was running with my trusty sidekick Brian.

We had taken part in this same race last year, I say last year but it was actually January of this calender year. It was postponed last December due to the snow. We arrived about 50 minutes early although there was no need, the parking for this event is ample, even for the 2000 participants taking part.

This year the course has been adjusted to 8.5 miles rather than the 9 miles, and has a couple of new features, one being some railway tracks to hop over??? and some logs to scuttle over, not really the most challenging of obstacles and looked a little out of place in the wide open area that they were situated. On the plus side the pathetic small cargo net that you had to crawl under last year had been removed.

The main water feature of a ravine filled with muddy clay water that varies in depth depending which side you run on (stick to the left if you don't want to be submerged!) remained, and the mud that follows is nigh on impossible to move in, let alone run.

Grim and bare it!
Before and after this water feature the course is a mixture of woodland trails, sandy hills, stony paths and lots of puddles. With the puddles it is up to the participant how wet they want to get, as you can go around a lot of them. Last year I got in the spirit of things and went through most of the water, this year I decided to skip them where I could (Been there, done that, got the T-shirt).

Overall I managed an average pace of 8:26 min/mile which over a course where at times you are waist high in water or in a bottleneck at the beginning of the course, I was pretty pleased with.

The £25 for such a short course is steep and although you pick up a cotton T-shirt and a shake at the finish, this race is wildly overpriced. At least the Hellrunner organisers put some effort in around the course last week, with fireworks at the start and some overhead fire and music as you go through the water features and a decent goody bag and medal. No goody bag or medal here! Although well marshaled and a good pre race atmosphere this is all there is to offer. There were no stalls to look around at the beginning while you wait unless you count the hot dog vans!

In my opinion this is an event that you do once for the experience, the short course is more playful than challenging or 'Grim'.

If you want more for your money for a similar type of event, go for the 12 mile Hellrunner race, a real challenge, worth the money and takes place around the same time of year.

No comments:

Post a Comment