Last Saturday was the very first Brutal 10K ladies only event! I was really looking forward to this one as I was entering as part of the Fareham Crusaders running club and would finally get to know some of the lovely ladies.
It was an early start, we headed down at 7.45am for a 10am start. I got to lift share with two gorgeous lovelies (Kerry and Sara) who had me laughing the whole journey. When we arrived I spied frost all over the grass and puddles completely iced over. Good! I wasn’t prepared for this as there was no frost at all this morning, an hour away at home! This was worrying! The temperature was apparent when we got out of the car to register, very apparent and very cold! The path leading up to the registration tent was like an ice skating rink and I didn’t have trail shoes on cos I’m basically an idiot, but they did get me through the mighty Mudder so I figured I would be ok.
Ice we found in a puddle
I had a little giggle with the guy at registration, who had been asked if he was taking part and was feeling rather sorry for himself after basically being mistaken for a girl!
We caught the beginning of the canicross race (runners with dogs) which I thought was pretty cool until a bit later on that is, when the buggers tried to overtake us on the course, anyway…
Canicross runners getting in line
We had a little team photo…
Me, Sara and Kerry
Fareham Crusader ladies team photo
Then it was our turn to race, and after a little warm up from an overenthusiastic rep, we were off!
Trainer selfie, before the mud!
The beginning of the race started slowly, very slowly we were all bundled together in the same wave and the routes were really narrow in parts. Some of the ladies in the race were less than keen to get wet or muddy, so there was a stop/start motion going on.
Shallow water… it got worse!
We came to a complete halt at one point and had to wait about 5 minutes just to get to a river which we had to walk through as part of the course. You could hear distance yelps from women who had reached it before us, so we knew it was coming.
Queuing for a dip!
Due to the fact that the ice layer had only been broken by the Brutal staff in the morning, we knew it was gonna be cold, and there were huge pieces of ice piled up at the river banks to prove this. The first bit of water was the worst, we all decided to just go for it after waiting forever just to get to that point. The water was quite literally freezing and if the ice wasn’t stabbing you in the legs then the huge shards would float past you as you waded through. After a few seconds a frozen pain started shooting through my legs, which then turned into complete numbness which to be honest was a welcome relief! Wading through the water was like walking in a minefield, you had no idea what was under there and we all kept disappearing down holes which felt like craters.
Happy as pigs in s**t!
Now my legs were completely numb, each watery bit that followed was less painful and after It felt like you were walking on wooden blocks, it was very strange.
One of the last water bits was just over waist deep I managed to find the only hole I think and nearly fell head first in it but managed to recover just about!
Happy to be outta there!
I was now even colder than before and my gloves were wet L after a few more stops and starts and some actual running, we eventually finished the first 5K lap, which took us a ridiculous 1 hour 5 minutes.
We were all relieved to have finished the first lap as we kind of hoped that the next 5K would have less people racing, giving us more space to get through it without stopping, and hopefully this time we might break a sweat lol.
The second lap felt completely different, there were hardly any people around and everyone was much more spaced out so it was easier to overtake people. After making jokes about the runners who speed off through the water and mud, knocking everyone over, just to get a good time, we ended up being those runners! Oops!
The icy water bits weren’t so bad the second time round, I put it down to the fact that I was completely numb from the waist down! The avoidance of the mud and water tactics of the first lap disappeared as we all bombed it through the water and mud, without a care in the world.
2nd time around…
I managed to do exactly the same thing the second time round and nearly face-planted the water, taking another Crusader over in the process….
Luckily for me, Cathy saved me!
The slippery mud was hilarious!
We nearly lost Sharon!
and I wasn’t the only one to fall over…
Kerry fell over!
The hills sprints were rather amusing due to the fact we had a rep shouting “You own this hills” and various other inspirational phrases to get us to move our bums.
The second lap ended with us gathering together as a team to wade across a lake and sprint across the finish line.
The lake near the finish line
We were greeted at 1 hour 54 minutes, with a pretty purple medal……
and the crunchiest banana I have ever had, which promptly went into the bin!
Luckily though, Kerry provided the nicest carrot cake I have ever tasted, and it was well needed after a traumatic experience getting changed in the car park which involved me getting a horrendous cramp in my side whilst trying to change my pants when my towel kept falling off!
All in all I had a pretty great day with an awesome bunch of girls, the event was awesome and I would definitely do it again! Go crusaders!
Until next time….