A while ago the GRIM challenge came to my attention and knowing I could use my Mudstacle discount code I figured I’d sign up! This week though I’d been dreading it. I was worried I’d be running alone and wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it so much. Last night I found a running partner through the RMR group and we hooked up before the race which meant i had someone to run with. I’d talked my Dad into coming along so I didn’t have to drive home afterwards and he did, and had a great time too 😉 We got there nice and early and got a parking space a few minutes walk from the start area. It was horribly chilly but no where near what yesterdays competitors had to go through! I made a dash to the loo and went back to shelter in the car before venturing out about 9.45 to meet up with my buddy. It finally came the time to take off the hoodie and pop the bag in the bag drop, not the most secure or organised one I’ve seen at events it has to be said but it kept the bag dry and I made sure not to leave any valuables in my bag. We made our way to the start line where we had a quick speech from the health and safety advisor, we couldn’t hear it all properly but there was mention of stones in puddles that could cut hands! And then it was time to go! We started promptly and for the first mile or so was really congested so you couldn’t really get much pace up, and then came the hills! The sort of hills where you think your at the top and then it gets steeper! Yuck! We also quickly realised for every downhill there was an up pretty much straight after. Before long we hit the HUGE puddles of water. I ploughed through loving it all. I generally took the rule of following someone so to try and tell the depth of them. They were all muddy so you had no idea what the depth was like. Around mile 3-4 was sandy, it was HORRIBLE to run on! So wet and like it was sucking your shoes off your feet. I charged into as many puddles as I could, my feet were soaked so the shock wasn’t there so much anymore! We knew the cargo nets meant that we would be reaching mile 4 and suddenly they were upon us and my Dad was there with his camera. Straight after the cargo net was a hill that can only be described as clay! It was horrible to run up!
After that we headed out of the woods and over some logs and a section of railway track, very random! And then came the worst stretch of water of the whole course. It was loooooong, don’t know how many feet but felt like a good 50 maybe. It was freeeeeezing cold and we got stuck behind the slowest woman ever. She may as well have stopped. I managed to get past but my friend didn’t. It was so cold your legs hurt and the spectators all found it hilarious watching everyone jumping around when they got out trying to get some feeling back in the legs! You then had to get over some tyres before heading down for an out and back section, it turned out this featured another cargo net in what can only be described as warm mud! Genuinely it felt warm! It was really thick and almost comforting and supporting on the legs, sounds nuts I know! After the cargo net there was puddles galore, but you say puddles, really they are ponds, they go anything from calf level to groin level! Its so much fun! Then we got to the turn and headed back towards the start, that was painful running past it and going through another huge puddle! This time a cleaner one which was fun! Further down was the same and then I spotted my Dad taking more piccies.
We figured we only had about 0.5 of a mile at this point, or so we thought, the route then took us out into the forest and back again before sending us through some rope as an obstacle, which one guy decided to skip and carry on, spoil sport. Then we heard the finish line around the corner and thought oh that must mean this is the home stretch, sprint! Turned out it wasn’t, you went straight past the start for another loop before turning back, to say we were a bit pissed off was an understatement haha! Lots of cursing before we realised we had another fun puddle to go through! And then it was a quick dash around the bend and across the finishing line! The race doesn’t have a medal, which I have to say I was gutted about, I had assumed such a big race would have one and I have to admit I probably wouldn’t have signed up if I had realised it didn’t have one, I am a bling addict! The T-shirt is cute and everything but its not a bit of bling! There were plenty of T-shirts for us to choose from which was good, I was worried as we were slower runners and it was day 2 if they would have run out of sizes but they hadn’t which I was impressed with! We had a quick piccie and then both headed our separate ways to get warm! I made a beeline for the baggage tent grabbed my bag and hopped into the womens changing area to strip out of my soaking wet clothes asap! As usual with me I was cold for hours afterwards. I sat in the car shivering my butt off but it is so worth it.
Overall I had a really fun time, much better than I had expected. It was fun, not as fun as obstacle races because you can’t beat crawling through tyres and climbing over walls but splashing through puddles for 8 miles was a giggle! Would I do it again? Truthfully I don’t know. If I had a friend who wanted to do it I would probably do it but I wouldn’t make a conscious effort to do a race that doesn’t feature a medal. In my opinion though it was a well organised race, quality tech T-shirt at the finish, well marshalled and good facilities, minus the not well manned baggage and I would recommend it to people who don’t mind not having a medal.