On Saturday we decided to be spontaneous and sign up on the day for the Brutal 10 at Long Valley. We’ve never entered a Brutal race before but it was a wet, muddy morning so we figured it would live up to the name.I haven’t been running very much over the last few months. An operation set me back and I’ve struggled to get back into the swing of things. Lacking a bit of confidence and feeling unfit, it seemed like a sensible idea to just sign-up to something and give it a go.
We took a look in the OCR calendar and saw that Brutal 10 were hosting a Saturday morning event, just up the road near Aldershot. I’ve seen a lot of love for these events in the OCR community and I liked the idea of signing up to something a little smaller.
We managed to convince a couple of others to join us and we decided to run it together as something fun to do, rather than a race to hit a PB. After all, isn’t OCR racing all about team work?
The car park, registration and toilets are all really close so it is very quick and easy to get your number, have you final nervous wee and head to the start.
The course was really good fun. It is muddy, boggy and very very wet.
The hills are a bit of a burner but they are short so you have time to recover on the down bits. It is so much nicer to be running through trees, than pounding the pavement on a soggy morning.
The course begins with an incline and at this point there are quite a few people crowded together, so it is a bit of a shuffle for the first couple of miles. As we were running with the crowds, I heard mentions of ‘muddy hills’ and ‘lakes’. I had no idea what to expect – but sometimes its more exciting that way!
It didn’t take long before I was getting covered in mud and stuck in bogs and there were some really fun up and down sections where you can just let go and trust your legs and trainers!
The water is SO COLD. I didn’t expect the lake sections to be quite as long as they were but we tried to wade through as quickly as possible – still with smiles on our faces. There is also a canicross event that starts just beforehand, so an added bonus was seeing all the doggies on the course and realising they disliked the cold water as much as us!
The race marshals were absolutely brilliant.
It was raining, overcast and the marshals were often positioned in a muddy or tight spot but they were all so happy, chatty and encouraging. One even had horn! If you were one of them and are reading this – thank you. You did a fabulous job.
We finished in just under an hour and a half – not a bad effort. The atmosphere was super, there were no elitist attitudes and everyone seemed to be there to have a good time. It was especially amusing watching a group of adults ‘chasing a pig’ in the warm-up!