Grim Night Terror Run25 February, 2012 0 comments
For those of you who have done adventure racing you'll be familiar with the basic premise of the Grim Night Terror. Off road, mud, huge puddles, bogs, and the odd cargo net thrown in for good measure. The Grim Night Terror, introduced in 2012, has tried to raise the bar a little by adding one more element....night!
To cover the basics, the planned route is 8 miles over undulating woodland trails with a few sharp inclines thrown in. Water (ice on this occasion) is plentiful and littered through the course. Other than that no real surprises and the course accommodated about 1100 runners easily without too many bottlenecks.
It promised to be an excellent race with the web site and general marketing material inspiring thoughts of horrific terrain and frightening woodland. Sadly this was a PR stunt and the reality was more fairground ghost train than out-and-out terror....but not a bad effort! That said, standing at the front of the start line looking back it was an awesome sight to see over a thousand head torches snaking back through the woods, and just as we started the snow came! Heading out from the start line you quickly double back deeper into the woods and soon start to see the nice touches laid on by th organisers. Heads on sticks, huge black nets draped across the trail added to the drama, and speakers throughout the course belted out chilling screams which was a great addition.
One point became clear pretty quickly however - NONE of the ice was going to break so we saw some great Torvil & Dean action on the bigger puddles! Despite looking pretty funny, it had the potential to be quite dangerous so we were all running around the hazards which kind of defeats the object of the Grim, and we were setting a really fast pace more often seen in standard trail running. It also transpired that due to the conditions the organisers had shortened the 8 mile course to 6.8 miles without telling us. It was frustrating to find this out as I rounded the last corner thinking I still had 1.5miles to go - nearly everyone I spoke to at the finish could have done a much faster last mile had they known it was nearly over. The organisers should have said this up front as there are a lot of serious runners who care about their times!
This is probably a challenge for beginners to intermediates, and undoubtedly would be better with water instead of ice and the full distance honoured, but I won't be paying the £25 again for what was essentially a pretty easy 10k... If you fancy something similar but more of a challenge try the Hell Runner in Bordon or the Farnham Pilgrim marathon - they're both local, harder and more picturesque, with the Pilgrim being one of the best organised events I've competed in.