Sunday, 6 December 2009

Grim '09 Race Report - A being a kid day out

As the alarm sounded at 6:45am on Saturday morning, I was reminded quite strongly, why Mexican food and multiple margaritas is not the best preparation for running 8 miles in the cold wet muddy conditions of Grim. Or for any run at all in fact. Therefore I turned off the alarm, rolled over and went back to sleep.

Well that's what I should have done. Instead, I hauled myself out of bed and started to check the race packing I'd done when I was a little tipsy the night before to see what I'd forgotten. The answer was socks and only socks which i didn't think was too shoddy. Clearly I'm better drunk than I thought.

LG made some porridge, I made coffee (black, strong, sweet) and with LG wrapped up with more layers than a child with an overprotective mother, we hit the road.

We met up with eatingtrees in the car park and it was clear that his enthusiasm for this event had waned somewhat in the 7/8 months since signing up. He was determined not to get cold! I was standing in shorts!! After wandering to the starting arena, we met up with John and Adam from The Running Bug (very nice they were too) and discussed how horrible i thought this was going to be. At the start,  Adam said to me, your feet are obviously going to get wet at some point, just try avoid to avoid an all out soaking at the beginning.

I failed miserably. Within 200 yards of the start both feet had been fully submerged, were about 2kg heavier and I now had the prospect of running 8 miles with very cold and very wet feet. It's quite nice though, as you carry on running, your feet warm up a bit (until the next puddle anyway). There was a real sense of team/everyone together/fun out on the course and I loved it. Nearly everyone was smiling (even eatingtrees by this point). The miles ticked slowly by and looking at the watch was pretty much pointless because this thing was never about speed and you can only run through a puddle so quickly before you fall on your face and I didn't intend to do that. Some parts of the course doubled back on themselves which did make it fun to here the screaming as the cold water that you'd gone through 30 seconds ago was now making someone else miserable.

The main cargo nets and mug part caused a bit of a back log as loads of spectators lined the track with cameras at the ready. Below is myself and eatingtrees once we were through the worst of that bit. We're smiling and everything!!!

After this part of the course and a few more puddles went past, we had a bit of a dry section. At that point, my feet started thawing out and I realised that I appeared to have a stone or something under my toe which was annoying and slightly painful although I had no idea if it'd done any damage due to the numbness. After a while and with more water numbing the feet again, I forgot about it. That was until I loaded the washing machine yesterday. This is the INSIDE of my socks, calf support and shoe. How the hell did this stuff get INSIDE my sock?!?!?!

I was trying to pick up the pace a bit as I felt I could do it comfortably and I have to say, in the whole 8 miles, i only felt tired for about 200/300 metres within the last mile. Then I saw the finishing loop and I had a new burst of energy coming through the final water bit and felt like a gazelle as I went past a couple of people. I said felt like, not looked like.

And over the line... In 1:33:29. Time? rubbish. Do I care? nope. Will I do this event again next year? Without a doubt. I honestly smiled through the entire thing and can't think of any other race I've done when I've had a grin on my face from start to finish. I can't recommend it enough. Join me next year. Be Grim!


  1. The Grim grin. Nice. Those are the best kind of races.

  2. I agree! The 'Grin Challenge'. Well done, Tom, I'm hoping to do it again next year too

  3. Nice work Tom, glad you enjoyed it. Next year keep to the right under the cargo nets, there's a lot more mud that way!

  4. Sounds like to had a good time! Glad you enjoyed it :-)