I was really excited about going to this race, not because it was Ladies only, although it’s a lovely idea to help encourage women who may be a intimidated by “normal” race to take part, not because it’s the only Brutal race to offer a medal at the end, not even because I know Brutal put on brilliant races, but because I was going to be running with one of my very best friends Viki.
When I first started getting into fitness properly, and doing my first few races, it was Viki that I did these things with. We were training partners, race buddies, and discovered a mutual love of getting muddy together, as life often does though, other commitments started getting in the way and we don’t often train together any more, although we are hoping to change that, and hadn’t actually run a race together since Back to the Trenches in 2014.
She picked me up really early and we set off to Greenham Common, about two and a half hours away, where we just about made it before their suggested 9.15am latest arrival after somehow ending up at a shooting range initially and getting a bit lost. We easily got our numbers from registration and it wasn’t long before it was time to get ready to run.
Our warm up was delivered as we were jogged down to the start line which was a short way from the finish, and once we were warmed up we counted down and set off.
As I was going to be running with Viki, I had wrapped up extra warm, with double base layers on, and so I was a comfortable temperature despite the gentle pace and cold day. The water that we were in and out of was icy, but no deeper than the tops of my thighs, but with my thermal 2xu leggings on the only part of me that ever really felt cold was my feet, and they soon warmed up again as we trotted along, at least until the next bout of cold water.
It was a beautiful place to run, and despite being a Brutal race, there was really only one properly horrible hill. There were some brilliant sections of deep mud, a deep red colour that must have been rich in iron, then I spotted a silvery patch, trod in it, and ended up sunk up to my hip! I made pretty short work of getting myself free though and laughing a lot we carried on.
Our second lap seemed to take no time at all, and pretty soon we were at the splitting point for the second time, and taking the fork to finish. This took us across a bit of the course we had not yet done, as the route was a bit like a lollypop shape, with two laps round the “lolly” part, then finishing down the “stick”. They weren’t making it as simple as a straight run to the finish though, and it was through a few more freezing sections of water, including one right up to the line, before finishing, which cleaned the shoes and leggings off nicely but left me with one really cold foot for hours later (not sure why it was only the one!). We collected our medals, got ourselves changed then treated ourselves a well earned burger before hitting the road and heading back home.
Even better than the race, which was brilliant, was the fact that Viki enjoyed being back in the mud and has already booked us up for the next one at the end of February! Thank you Brutal for another awesome race!