In short: Mud, water, wind, mud, pain. Great organisation and marshalling In full: I can't say that we weren't warned. There is mud (lots of it) between miles 6 & 9, some of it smelly. The start lulls the runner into a false sense of security with a nice flat 5 mile jog along the sea wall, but when we hit the really heavy stuff it was like 'Bambi on ice'(except perhaps for the first few, and they were well out of my sight!) At least we gave the photographers a good laugh.
Great encouragement from the marshals, and the food was really welcome at about 9.5 miles.
Great refreshments and lovely home-made cake at the HQ, but the showers were freezing and no more than a trickle (although I don't think that's the organiser's fault!) Excellent technical t-shirt to finishers.
I would certainly give this one another try, but would first get fitter, and use old kit (bring a black sack and deposit said muddy kit in nearest bin).
Thanks for a fun day out! Date of review: February 3, 2011
In short: My letter to Ben Fleet In full: 23rd January, 2011
Dear Ben Fleet,
I wanted to write to you about your race. It was far too muddy and slippery, hence causing me to slip and fall too many times. Consequently I hurt my right arm and cut my finger on my left hand. I swallowed a mouthful of mud and had a tummy ache for days! Not to mention I stained my running clothes. I’ve never seen so much ghastly thick mud, I was slipping and slithering like a confused eel. I was in such a mess!
But to be perfectly honest the race was B-R-L-L-I-A-N-T :=) It is one of best race I have ever ran. When I think of this race the adrenalin starts rushing in. Thanks to all of the female runners who picked me up from the mud several times. The men found it amusing and left me to sink in the mud!
Karl you and your Marshalls did a first class job – perfection. I like to give Special Thanks to my favourite Marshall who took pity on me and try to clean the stubborn mud from my hands and feet with his bottles litre of water. I was completely covered from head to toe in thick, crusty mud, I underestimated the race sorry the mud ;=) I hope this race will always continue.
I hope to see you all soon. Regards to all involved.
In short: Great mud, great fun! In full: Whatever you're ability, you'll have a great time. This is a very different race which you can either belt round in 1 hr 30 mins or stroll round in 4 hrs. No-one minds and everyone is encouraging and friendly. Date of review: January 26, 2011
In short: Loved the mud In full: You can get off to a flying start then you hit the mud which this year was plentiful, if you recover from that you can kick the last 4 miles. i really enjoy this run and this year was no different.....cheers ....mud mud mud!!! Date of review: January 25, 2011
In short: Very, very muddy, but ultimately a friendly and recommended race In full: Thank you very much to Benfleet for organising this and to all the marshalls who were really friendly and helpful the whole way round.
I entered this after the postponement of the Dartford 10 and was pleased I entered what turned out to be a very different event to that originally in the diary!
Quite a flat race (only one smallish hill at about mile 5), but you're never going to set a PB wading through and skidding along that much mud for 4 miles!
Plus points - an interesting course, results and photos up quickly, cheap to enter, a good t-shirt and lots of cake available pre and post race. It's a great training race for longer distances since the five miles at the end weighed down with dried mud really got the legs working.
I have only two gripes which may prevent me doing it again (and I hasten to add that neither is a criticism of the organisers who I suspect can do nothing about them):
(1) I got the train from London to the nearest station (Benfleet) and it was then perhaps a 30 minute walk to the race. Not a problem on the way to the start, but more of a headache on the way back from the finish.
(2) I was by no means the slowest runner but by the time I got to the showering facilities there was a long queue and only freezing water left. Not usually a problem, but it's been a long long time this I was that muddy!
And also one minor gripe at my fellow runners - when there is a queue to get over a stile or through a gate, it is not acceptable to jump it. Please join the back like everyone else!
So minor problems for me, but overall a friendly, challenging and good fun race.
I might be back next year, weather dependent! Date of review: January 24, 2011
In short: It's muddy, so what's not to like In full: 2nd time doing this, love it and hate in equal measure, and will probably be back to try it again next year. Great organisation, atmosphere. Liked the food selection at 3rd water stop. You just can't train for that type of mud between miles 7 & 9. Thanks to the Benfleet Runnining club for another great event. Date of review: January 24, 2011