Paul A, Duncan G, Carl, Paul F and Ross (not pictured) took part in the 2010 Hellrunner down South event. Early morning temparatures of -7 ensured it would be a cold day and this was evident when the team arrived and examined the Bog of Doom (as pictured) which was covered in a thin layer of ice.. nice!
The Hellrunner event involves a 10 mile hilly off-road run through Bordon Military Camp and is a fairly popular event. The run itself is reasonably physically challenging due to the hilly nature of the course but not overly so, the real test is wading through one of two water crossings in sub zero temperatures. However, this meant the ground was hard and running conditions were perhaps a little easier (less wet and muddy) than in previous years although plenty of loose rocks up and down the slopes meant runners had to watch their footing at all times.
The race started a few minutes later than the scheduled 10.30 start but soon everyone was of. The first part of the course is a path followed by some narrow tracks meaning that you had to run at everyone else’s pace. As most of the boys were around half way it meant that at times you were a little restricted in your running pace but this didn’t cause too many problems as it gave the team the odd breather up a steep hill.
The race followed tracks and paths up and down hills in a wooded area for the first 8 miles or so apart from the only water stop, the bottled water was so cold it gave one or two of the guys a “brain freeze” sensation. However, Duncan did manage to take a tumble and fall and cut his knee and elbow and finished the race covered in blood but the rest of the run was fairly uneventful until the Bog of Doom at 8 miles apart from the loud sound of a gun or cannon going of from time to time.
As soon as you enter the Bog of Doom you are immediately hit by the shock of the icy cold water and that tingling sensation on your legs. For Paul A and Carl the water was up to their shoulders as they waded through the water with little feeling below the waist. The challenge after the Bog of Doom was to get your legs and feet going again as there’s still 2 miles and another water crossing to go before the end.
The water crossing was cold but fairly uneventfull as the boys had all taken part in the event in previous years and they carried on at their respective speeds up some steep hills until the second water crossing complete with a loud music to encourage the runners.
The second water crossing was not as deep as the first and didn’t trouble any of the guys who made their way past this obstacle and towards the final challenge of the sand dunes which saps a bit of your energy at the end but again was not too difficult. After this hazard there was a short run down a path and a quick left and a quick sprint to the finish line.
Duncan finished in a great time of 1hr 26mins followed by Paul A in 1hr 36mins and Carl and Paul F came in around 1hr 40mins whilst Ross finished in around 2hrs.
At the end the guys claimed their T-Shirt and goody bag and made their way back to Paul F’s pickup for a cup of tea and a BBQ which they had prepared. It was fair to say as soon as you stop running, the guys started to feel the effects of the freezing water and experienced the teeth chattering and shaking usually associated with this. Thankfully, they all started to warm up after changing into some spare warm clothes and getting a hot drink inside them.
The run was reasonably challenge but as is the norm for these adventure runs, not really as tough as advertised. For your £25 entry fee, you get to run, a t-shirt and goody bag full of bits and pieces and represents fair value for money and is priced like many similar events.
Having done this run a couple of times now, the challenge of completing Hellrunner has been achieved and it may be time to move onto different events.
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