‘Grizzly’ tale – 1 March 2015
Charlotte House reports from East Devon.
As I stood on the start line of the
Grizzly, on Seaton sea front for the third time, I thought I knew
what to expect, a tough, wet muddy hilly run.
However, I had forgotten just how tough this
event was, this was perhaps my toughest race EVER. Within 400 yards
of the start I remembered just how demanding this race is, as myself
and 1,600 others ran half a mile along a shingle beach - the noise
from that was unbelievable!
In previous years there had been steep tough
hills but this year they had turned into mountains and this little
Devon felt like the
throughout the run. One slight incline even required me to haul
myself up the thing on a rope! If this wasn’t tough enough, the
descents were just as bad, for someone that had never been skiing
before - I did during this event, with only a pair of extremely old
trail shoes on my feet!
After a few hills, you are brought back on
to the shingle beach to run through an ice cold stream, at least
this washes off some of the mud!
Next was more slipping and sliding through
the forest, where the trails were full of mud and calf deep puddles and
avoiding hurtling into other runners was a challenge. At this point, I
was asked, ‘Is this the bog I read about?’ Trying not to laugh I
replied, ‘Nope that’s in a few more miles of this stuff !!’
The aforementioned bog was longer and deeper
this year, but at least I did not fall in again, smiling for the
photographer I jumped straight in, praying my shoes were not lost and
never to be seen again – thankfully both trainers stayed on. Being
hauled out the other end by a marshal, while resisting the urge to pull
him in was one of the highlights of the race, as was as seeing the
trepidation on the faces of those yet to enter the bogs!
After many more ups than downs you are
brought back to the shingle beach at around mile 15-16, which if you
have anything left in your legs is destroyed by the shingle. A mile or
so of beach later there is have a memory tree where you are able to tie
ribbons to remember loved ones. After this you are taken up a cliff path
known as ‘The Stairway to Heaven’, there are amazing views at the top
and a photographer to record your pain for eternity!
You then run across a field - where in a
strong cross wind I discovered I am able to run sideways, back down to
the caravan park and through a pub garden with many people cheering you
on, only to be taken up yet another monster hill! Once this final
mountain has been conquered you follow the path down a very welcome
decent to the sea front and across the finish line! The fun doesn’t stop
when you cross the finish line – it’s at this point you are greeted by
firemen with hoses to clean you down before you are almost clean enough
to get in your car to drive home.
It’s a race you’ll never forget. Its one you’ll love and hate equally,
on the way round you’ll be thinking why am I doing this I hate it and as
you cross the finish line you’ll think I LOVED every second of that!
When does the ballot open?