It’s not often I race in mud, let alone in 18 miles worth. But last weekend I did just that with the GRIM 8 mile original course around Aldershot Military tank training base on Saturday 3rd Dec and then the Mapledurham 10 mile cross country race on Sunday 4th.
I have done the GRIM course before. 4 years ago to be exact, as Facebook chose to remind me on Saturday morning. After looking at the pictures I remembered why I didn’t go back again quickly. The mud and sand makes the course tough work, but the real challenge is running on numb feet. Which is what happens when you run through deep water which the ice has only just been broken on. I’m not a fan of being wet and cold, however the sun was out so it was all good fun!
Four years ago it was very muddy. This year it was still as cold but wasn’t as muddy and I think the puddles were a lot deeper!
My Suunto Spartan Sport gave me lots of info on the race. It measured the course as only 6.92 miles though. The course did feel a bit under 8 miles, but the mud, sand and water made it still feel very tough and there were several hills on route too, so it was well over the effort of a normal 8 mile run.
Then Sunday morning it was time to go again. The Mapledurham 10 mile cross country race was no where near as wet and with only a normal amount of mud for this time of year. However the course was still a challenge as it had two fairly big hills and one very big hill:
The views were amazing and I think that’s what made the miles fly by and help me fly along too – well mainly just across the finish line:
Which earned me a 4th place finish in my age category of under 40 years, 14th female overall and 103rd overall which is not too shabby. My final overall positions is slightly different to the DB:Max readout as a some people changed route on course as there were two options where you chose to go left for 10k course and right for the 10mile course.
My Suunto Spartan Sport then showed me the effect those lovely hills had on my pace and how much they pushed my heart rate up:
So overall my weekend was spent running for 2.5hours, covering 18ish miles, going through mud, sand, water and up hills, which overall was great fun! I don’t think it would have been as much fun if I hadn’t had my muscles feeling good two thanks to the amazing recovery effect of a soak in a BetterYou magnesium flake filled bath and covering my legs in BetterYou magnesium recovery spray. It really does work wonders!