Hell Runner 2007 – Did It!

November 6, 2007

On Sunday, me and a couple of friends took part in Hell Runner – 10 miles trail running across Longmoor Army Camp in Petersfield, with such joys as ‘The Hills of Hell’ and ‘The Bogs of Doom’ followed by the sand dunes.

We headed off at 8:30am, arriving just on schedule for around 10:15am to join the long queue of what must have been over 1000 cars, transporting the 2000 or so runners to the event.

After getting our kit on, we did the ¾ mile walk to the start line, although to be honest I wish we had jogged that as a warm up. We only just made it to the start on time, and had to join the back of the queue, which made life difficult later on.

The atmosphere at the start was brilliant, as it was for pretty much the whole race – Everyone was friendly and helpful, also, I dont think I’ve ever seen such so many smiles in one day!

The race started prompt at 11pm which kicked off with around 3 miles of gravel path, quickly turning into a rough track with plenty of muddy puddles, which all but the bravest avoided. After a while the path opened up into a field with a few mounds, then went back into the trees before which we met the first of the many hills.

The hills were actually quite steep, and demanded some careful foot work, both going up and down! After a few more miles I heard the excited screams and shouts. I knew this could not be the finish, so it must be the Bogs of Doom! I entered some what cautiously, and I can honestly say it was one of the most discusting things I have ever experienced – Muddy, black water with who-knows-what floating under the surface! There were plenty of people ‘mud-diving’ – Something I decided was not for me. (Not keen on 3 day long stomach bugs!)

After the bogs of doom we were off again running up and down various hills and slopes before meeting what I can only describe as a lake which we had to scramble down a very steep bank to get into (Using roots and branches to keep ourselves from sliding in!). The water was well above my waist, and very cold!

Having climbed out of the water and up the bank the other side, a few more miles of hills and more forgiving gravel paths lead us to what I was convinced was the finish – I turned the corner to see another hill, this time made of sand. I climbed the hill, and over the top to be greeted by the sight of 4-5 hills which were teaming with other runners, going up, down, up down…Most of which were walking by now and looking rather tired!

I braved the last hills, before joining the trails back to the final 200meters of gravel path which lead to the finish line. Normally at this point in a race I used the last of my energy for a sprint finish, but only managed to up my pace a little before crossing the line, covered in mud at 1hr 55min 28sec.

Stats…

Gun Time: 01:55:28
Chip Time: 01:52:37
Gender Position: 1015
Overall Position: 1204
(1794 Runners completed the race)

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