Spartan blog

Hell Up North The millionth write up

I know this is about a week late, but the write up i did last week got lost when my session timed out, and i threw all my toys out of the pram. Sulk is now over so here is the millionth write up.

Hellrunner is my A race, i have been waiting all year for 3rd November. This race was my race trail race a few years ago, and i loved it since. I copied Charlies pre race prep again (if only i could borrow his legs 1 race) and set off for Hell with my Junior Spartans and moaning Wife in tow. At the start i got a feel for how awesome the event is, the sheer number of people, the music, and more importantly the green, white and black of a spectacular flag telling me that i was home.... in SPARTA. Over at the flag I talked to everybody to calm my pre race nerves, got the picture <just> and waved everybody over to the strat line. Yes, like an idiot i was running in Wave 2. At least i got to see everybody off.

I enjoyed my flapjack (pre paleo so it was ok) while i cheered my Spartan brothers and sisters as they completed their lap of Old Pale and waited with my brother ( the reason for wave 2 stupidity). It was then time to go to War. I went to the start line with R Kid and the que was ridiculous. Im ashamed to say thats where the que jumping started, we climbed over the railings and went to the 2nd row, sorry for pushing in. Then the fun began, R Kid set the pace up OP as he is the stronger climber, i thought it was a little quick but kept with him and ploughed on blindly. Just before the top of the climb R Kid moved over to let me take a turn on the front, we passed the top of OP, i looked back and R Kid had dropped 5/6 places. He had gone off too hard, to be fair if it wasnt an immediate downhill i would have been in trouble too.

I felt confident going up and down OP due to how often i have trodden the trail with The Spartans, so when the route turned left after passing OP and i was confronted with a hill i didnt even know existed, my heart fell. I didnt save enough for that hill, i thought it was all downhill back to the start. that hill was hard, mentally and physically. Luckily i got to the top only dropping 2 places and then i got my self back together and powered on.

After entering the forest ( which was remarkably stunning may i say) there wasnt much change for the first few miles. I passed a few Wave 1ers that were walking and i thought they were in for a long slog. There was a persian waiting by a really muddy section helping a friend, he advised me to go a certain way through the mud, erm excuse me mate, i am a Spartan, i know this forest. I went my own way and sank up to my thighs, the Persian helped me out. Er, thanks pal. OOOOPS.

The next point that sticks in the head is at the puddle boggy bit (how good am i with names by the way), i seen our own Shawy which gave me a much needed boost at that point. A quick hello then i bypassed the que <again! SORRY> and jumped straight in, i struggled to get out as the path i took to avaoid the que was less trodden and quite deep. Then i was off and away. I passed a que at 1 of the ditchs for a stream and a Persian said "i want a go too" its a race. The forest is miles wide, just run at the side of the que, im not in anybodys way. Argh!!

I saw other Spartan family when i was starting to flag, the Claires, Emma and Hannah, that gave ma a boost.Then I saw Phil, and thought my gosh, hes taking the pi55. I am blowing out of my bottom here and he is taking time out to hunt for treasure. There he was digging in the mud, all he was missing was a spade. To be fair to him, it transpires that he was looking for his missing shoe, ah thats fair enough. Fay was helping her mate up a hil, and then it was the Springs of Sparta....

Or Lake of Lucifer apparently. Now, a confession. On Becks post she talked about me diving in, and swimming past people, Sadly this is not entirely accurate. I saw a big que waiting for 1 line through the lake, and thought, poop to that, im making a new line. I ran at the lake and my feet couldnt find the floor anymore. The floor was gone, there was a drop i couldnt see just inside the lake and i fell face first into the lake.My 'swimming' was me aimlessly trying to regain my footing. Sorry for shattering the illusion, i prefer Beck's version too. Just glad it looked ok. I heard Beck shout (im amazed i didnt see that pink hat) and after spitting out the half of lake i tried to drink shouted "For Sparta" and ran off before anybody could see how red i had gone with embarressment. 

After the lake i just kept going Nick style <as hard as i could for as long as my legs/lungs would allow. Being in wave 2 is really hard for somebody as stupidly competitive as me. I had no idea how quick others where at that point, so i kept burying myself and hoping it would be enough. Oh, i missed a bit. the water station at 5.5 miles (apparently, thats what other write ups said) really annoyed me. There was a litter station a few hundred metres away, yet some Persians treated our forest like a damn bin, this is not a dirty road race. USE THE BIN. Argh!!!! 

Anyway, now came the highlight of my race. A few mates from work have been getting the better of me during lunch time runs for the past 18 months, and i havent been out with them so much since joining the club, so i have been taking alot of stick off them (yes mini, im lokking at you here). They were in wave 1, so to pass them was quite satisfying, i think the ribbing may stop now (about the running at least, i still have big ears). 

Now the Bog Of Doom. The picture on the website of me here says it all. I was done, soooo tired and i walked, every step of it. It was hard mentally but I knew it meant it was nearly over. The support at the Bog was fantastic, and i got the energy to at least try to make afinish of it. I started sprinting (to me, to onlookers i probably jogged a tiny bit faster) and crossed the line. Yay, its done.

I got my drink, downed it along with my bodyweight in millionaire shortbread and flapjacks and discussed the course with the Spartans that had finished. Then i seen my brother come in, i was made up he had come in ok and almost as happy that he was behind me, i owe him that after chester. Lol. I had no idea how i had done, but i now know 20th. That is so much better than i ever expected and that is down to the club, I love this club. Im hoping to do Up North and Down South next year, and R kid is doing the hatrick, any1 else want to play? :-)

The 1 major debate i had coming into the race was which footwear to wear. The old trusted trail shoes i used for the Sandstone A race have cost me a toenail and some blood blisters under other nails, plus the grip is only average. The new shoes i got for post Hellrunner are minimal shoes and i planned to get used to them slowly. But the grip is awesome, so 1 practice run with Nick and Alan later, the innovates won out, and i think the grip made a massive difference on the up and down hills. The downsides where my laces coming loose just before the Bogs of doom ( and me not wanting to do a Phil) and the pain in my calves from the lower drop of the shoe. Ah, pain is temporary, a finishing position lasts forever.

The support around the course was absolutely amazing. It really pushed me on. Soo many people were shouting "Come on Spartan" that it must have been more than family and friends, i think we found some new fans. Seeing other Spartans on the course gave me a massive boost aswell. i am so proud to be a member of this club, and my result is so much better than when i last did Hellrunner, that is thanks to the competition and encouragment this club brings.  :thumbup:

For those Brave Spartans that have survived to the end of this arduous tale here is a few treats;
Whats brown and sticky.......................A stick
Two fish in a asks the other.............."do you even know how to drive this?"
Two snowman in a asks the other "can you smell carrots?"
Two birds on a asks the other.............."can you smell fish?"


Jim Moreton's picture