WACers in the pink The Grizzly 13 March 2010
The slurry, the pipes, the bog, the
stairway to heaven and the final twist! Paul Hougham reports.
After The Beast last
year it was a question of what next? Well, after all we had heard, it
was obvious the 20 mile Grizzly. I must admit, after all the
speculation about the race, it was probably two to three times more
punishing than I imagined
Seaton is a lovely place
(very scenic) and there had obviously been great efforts made in
organizing the race. A good atmosphere. The marshals were excellent all
the way around. A big thank you goes out to them.
Georgina, Annemarie, Terry
and I had been training up for this race since before Christmas and we
were all up for it on the day. The weather on the day of the race was
excellent and we could not have asked for more. The sun was out, the sky
was blue and low winds (excepting a cold easterly).
On the day we were joined
in our running group by Carol (a bit of a dark horse). She got a last
minute place and made a guest appearance. Well done Carol.
Ian, Carol, Stewart,
Andy, Annemarie, Georgie and Paul on the start line
The race started along the
promenade and then turned onto the first stretch of shingle beach. A bit
of a pain, but nothing to be concerned about (I only wish I had held
this thought until the end). We went around a boatyard and then back
along the promenade. At 1 mile we were at the finish line. We then
proceeded out of Seaton towards what I thought was Beer, but I didnt
find any! The hills were mostly steep and a lot of the time we found
ourselves running along slopes at cross gradients on uneven ground. This
was a bit harsh.
Terry descends into
Special points of interest
were as follows:
Approaching one pair of gates the ground was all churned up into
slurry. It was obvious from the smell that this was no normal mud and
definitely consisted of a high level of methane. I can validate this
for, at the end of the race, my trainers that usually smell to high
heaven, smelt of something out of this world. Even the salt water seemed
to do little to alleviate the smell.
The bagpipe player!
Could be heard from just about everywhere and, how should I put this, I
was in enough pain and, had I been armed, I would have shot him! Mind
you, for some reason, there were various musically acts littered all
around the course. Violin players, small bands, bongo players and even
a didgeridoo. Perhaps we could introduce more musical acts around the
Wimborne 10 any suggestions?
Nigel catches the group
in the woods
The bog We were
advised that the bog was at 12 miles and we found it. Nothing really to
worry about. After this we went through a stream where Annemarie and
Terry took the opportunity to clean off a bit.
This isnt the bog
However, this proved to be
slightly premature as the bog we had found was not The Bog, if you
know what I mean. A short time later we found the real one! The signs
were unmistakable. At the start, skeletons, and also a rope to hold
onto. It was actually quite an amusing experience it was messy and
went on for some time and, as with all bogs, a queue!
is the bog!
Coming out of the bog was
also quite amusing as the nice route up the first slope was on a grass
area to the right but, for some reason, Georgie (who is related but for
some reason does not share my brain capacity) went up the slippery muddy
left-hand side. Carole also went up the left side. I am not sure whether
this was in error, or to save Georgie. In any case it resulted in a lot
of giggling, screaming and slipping. Also, a short time later, Carol
found herself playing doggie on all fours on a muddy slope (and yes I
did get the photo see below). Woof!
Carol, down, but not
The Stairway to Heaven
Basically lots and lots of steps to the top of a cliff. To be honest,
I was looking forward to the cliff as the preceding section of race had
been our second venture onto a pebble beach (the little bit where we ran
through some water does not count).
I now know how my grandad
must have felt during the D-Day landings
. I just wanted to get off the
bloody beach! There was one section near the top of the cliff where the
path became narrow and there was quite a drop to one side (the cliffside). Oh,
those wobbly legs
one gust of wind. I wonder whether they have ever
lost a runner?
And theyre climbing
the Stairway to Heaven. The beach looks a
long way down (top left), but they still have a third of the
climb to do.
After this point things
got a bit hazy. We did run back down to a small village (Beer again)
and then up some more steps and slopes through a garden. Then Seaton
was in sight and only 2 miles to go! At this time I was having
difficulty running downhill (Not usually a problem that I suffer with.
I mean, if you cant run down a hill, you can always fall down it).
However, the tops of my legs felt like they were locking up solid but
never actually cramped up (lucky me
so, even the option of falling down the hill had gone. I suppose I
could have rolled
next year maybe.
The Twist The
most evil twist I could imagine. We came down the hill onto the
promenade. We could see the finish banner! We ran down the promenade no
more than 50 metres. Now you remember those really nice marshals? Well
this one sent us down onto the shingle beach again and this time it felt
like pain, smelt like pain and was pain.
The gay finish (could it
result in our expulsion from the club) It had been agreed that we
would all run the race together and finish together. So, all holding
hands, we ran to the finish to collect our pink t-shirts. I must admit,
if truth be told, Terry, Carole, Anne-Marie and Georgie ran across the
line I was dragged.
Carol, Georgie and Paul cross the line together
We were then inundated
with free drinks, bananas and cake at the end the end to a perfect
race. I dont know whether it was just me but all the best/worst bits
were kept for the second half of the race.
In the pink!
Race synopsis (according
Carol Seemed to
struggle a bit at the beginning but was in a league of her own at the
along with Annemarie. I am sure but I thought Carol said the
longest run she had done was 10 miles before the Grizzly. I am still
trying to figure this one out?!
complains as she runs. You know, I will never make it, I need to stop,
etc. Well not this time. Her run was solid from start to finish.
Again, a solid steady
run from start to finish.
Georgie A good
run but suffered a bit at the end along with me (must be in the genes or
is suffering contagious?).
suffered in last - 3 miles.
Well done to Carol, Terry,
Annemarie, Georgie and all the other WACers who ran!
Will I run the race
again? Yes, most certainly. And, because of the type of race, bad
weather conditions would probably make it even more interesting!!!!!
WACers results were:
106 Jerry Shield 3:07
207 Adie Mead 3:20
249 Stewart Little
342 Andy Porter 3:31
902 Ian Kennedy 4:12
947 Nigel Eldred 4:17
1004 Carol Howe 4:22
1005 Annemarie Fachiri
1006 Terry Simms 4:22
1007 Georgie Hougham
1008 Paul Hougham 4:22