Delamere Forest Park, Cheshire
October 29, 2006
Simon Bailey 1:03:17
Jennie Bowman 1:20:19
No. of finishers
At the start of many races you’ll see plenty of shiny new racing shoes, and kit worthy of a washing powder advert. Not at the Saab Salomon Hellrunner races. Wear your least precious shoes: finishing with both still on your feet is an achievement after the muddy bogs.
At the first of this year’s two events (the second was at Longmoor in Hampshire on November 12) runners were treated to shoe-sucking mud, huge puddles and testing hills on the 11-mile circuit through Delamere Forest.
Rather than putting anyone off, the grim conditions created a level of camaraderie that would not have been out of place in a combat zone. There were shouts of encouragement for those with second thoughts about the noxious mud, and friendly shoves up hills for runners struggling with the gradient.
Everyone agreed that having to concentrate on staying upright with every stride made the miles pass more quickly, and all too soon “the hills of hell” turned into redemption at the finish.
For most runners that simply meant a healthy glow of achievement and at least three showers to sluice the mud off. So perhaps it was a bit like a washing powder advert after all.