HRC at The Grizzly 2013 (GRIME & PUNISHMENT)
Click for Grizzly Route on Mapometer (Judy's run)
Youtube slide show
Photobucket photos (better resolution but not in order)
Seven pages of "Thank you's" received by Axe Valley - here
Club Grizzly & Cub Runners 2013
Jo Taylor (Pete's daughter)
Ceri Lara and James
Kathy & family
TALES OF GRIME AND PUNISHMENT
As a first timer for the Grizzly I am now in some sort of state to reflect and thought I would share a few of these esp. as sitting is a preferred position today ...
So having only ever managed a longest recorded 16 mile run 3 weeks previous with Bruce and the team on a Sunday run needing encouragement to get that far, along with a stop to buy a few Freddie frogs choc bars (hence I seem now to be called Freddie by a member) to help me get the final hill to Bruce's house ...
So I was nervous about the Grizzly ...
Yesterday's race started with a interesting twist ... A freak wave rushed to meet me and in my surprise I seem to have lost all my prepared water bottles with magic run further fluid to the sea .. However the next few miles seemed almost eventless .. If fact It seemed rather a social occasion for Judy and Howard deep in conversation with other runners giving me the opportunity to catch up briefly .. The next few mile passed on with no issue; Judy gave up talking and disappeared into the distance. the next memorable time occurred at the river crossing at Branscombe where my body was in a greater rush than my legs to partake in the puddle .. This led to a brief swim and a crowd pleasing roar of laughter ( Howard kindly said he missed it) .. I also smacked my knee on a rock in the puddle and would be reminded of that for the rest of the run! From then on the constant change in terrain and the views kept me going further but
.. I felt pain , saw pain, shared pain, gave support and realised my body had been put through new limits as most others must have also felt... The wobbly knees and cramps climbing the Beer Cliff and then the hands that were just so cold were almost a little frightening as this was new territory.. The top of the cliff was almost a celebration with a large group of us making towards the finishing line.. Unfortunately Howard's earlier injury took its toll and he sent me packing ( running would be too strong a word) .. The last 2 miles just passed in a blur ...
but most of all I felt that my ability to finish (along with the pound of sweets consumed en route) was only made possible by the constant support of the marshals, fellow runners and the " come on Honiton " that seemed to echo around every corner ! Thank you all again for the opportunity to be part of such a supportive club.. And yes I was all but in tears at the end ... And hence forgot my tee shirt ! ( thanks for sorting Bruce ) ..
Thanks to all the marshals who must have nearly froze to death in the weather that was grizzly !!
Pete Lyus and daughter Jo
No amount of training in Derbyshire could prepare Jo for the Grizzly even though she has done the Cub. She stayed cheerful though, but didn't cope too well with the slippy, slidey stuff. My aim was to see her through the bogs and then take off. I eventually left her at the Fountain Head and then ran all the way in, passing lots of tired 30-somethings.
Put us in the 'never again’ slot for now.
Yet another brilliant effort from everyone today, some runs go to plan and some don't, but this is why we keep running.
It was great to see the Honiton marshals as ever and the banter from the Honiton walkers (twice).Thank you to all the other supporters for coming down and cheering us all on.
I know all of you who ran for the first time today will be saying NEVER AGAIN but trust me you will.
Mark started it, so I thought I would also share my experience of my first Grizzly (and possibly my last!).
My late entry was as a result of not paying attention last September with the rush for entries and not having the courage to partake in what can only be described as a ridiculous event. However I was tempted when there was the offer of a ticket at the AGM but again my lack of confidence allowed that opportunity to pass. But at the final hour Steve Davey's injury was to be my chance and for fear of missing out I grabbed it. With hindsight I am glad I did and big thanks to Steve for the number.
On the morning of the Grizzly, I kept saying to myself that I had done the Beast a month or so earlier so how much harder could it be? Mistake No 1.
Huddled together (for warmth) with the other Honiton runners at around 10:00 and leaving it until the last possible moment to strip down to what’s best described as race kit with essential thermal accessories my first crisis ensued. I thought it might be a bit tacky in places so pulling hard on my shoes 'quick lace system' they broke! I had some spare road shoes and was about to change but the more experienced Honiton runners advised that I swop the laces and helped me thread the shoes, phew! Just as well it didn't happen on the start line!
The atmosphere at the start was terrific with the town crier explaining what was ahead of us all. Then we were off down the road a bit before turning left onto the beach, I followed some runners down closer to the water’s edge trying to find some firmer ground only to be repelled by a big wave which gave my feet its first soaking. I went out really steady, it was going to be a long old run and I was trying to convince myself that it would be like 2x Dalwood hills race? Mistake No 2.
I felt quite good running away from Seaton and going down through Beer, the support from the spectators was very encouraging. Then we turned right, up the hill out of Beer and onto the cliffs, the wind started to bite. However kept going steady and it wasn't long before some familiar Honiton RC spectators were calling out my name which proved to reoccur throughout the race. Not sure how these wonderful people managed it at various points throughout a 20 mile race, but what a huge lift it gives!
I managed to keep going on a mixture of jelly babies, gels and the odd bit of cake from some excellent well-wishers. I know it has been said before but the marshal's must really take some credit for standing out in what was a very cold day. It was even nice to receive some heckling from the Honiton RC marshal's.
With legs getting all the more tired as each mile passed, I came across the 1st bog, my strategy to just go straight through the centre proved mistake No 3 with me becoming stuck fast (must be the extra kgs I'm carrying). I tried pulling myself out but a twang of my calf told me this was not a good idea, luckily some fellow runners came to my rescue and managed to ease me out gently!
The hills just kept coming and my legs were starting to complain on the downhill stretches as well as the uphill. For the majority of the race I kept changing places with Mark Andow which proved to benefit both of us as we helped each other through to the end.
What a relief it was to come down the hill with the finish line in sight and the large cheering crowds. It must be the best supported event I have ever done.
Having been washed down by the fireman, it was nice to hear another familiar voice when Olivia suggested I have a massage. One of her colleagues then exacted some serious pain on my calves which proved to be beneficial in the long run as I now feel fine, well just about. With all the excitement I nearly forgot the coveted tee shirt but Bruce came to the rescue and went off and got me one. Thanks.
In a strange way I really did enjoy it not least for the atmosphere and support along the way. Will I do it again? A year is a long time and will give plenty of time to forget the burning sensation in my legs from climbing those hills!
Katy Campbell (Cub) (from an email to John, slightly edited)
I should have come along for the photo, but I was also coordinating with work people so it was a little complicated!! I did see Lesley before and after though. The run went really well, I found it fairly ‘easy’ and really enjoyed it, what a brilliant event, my first proper off road run and I think I’m converted. I would like to do the Grizzly one day but next year will depend on the date.... This year was the same weekend as a big rowing event – I’d been racing in London on Saturday ...fine to do the Cub the day after but maybe not the full thing!!
Kathy spectating at Branscombe
Have enjoyed reading everyone’s Grizzly day, so here is a view from a supporter!
As my family would not let me walk with Ian’s group due to it being Mothers Day I persuaded them to come unwillingly to see a bit of the race. We managed to park the car after persuading my husband that we would not be stuck in Branscombe until 3pm! We walked to the beach and all I heard was 'Its too cold@ and that was from my husband.
We positioned ourselves by the amazing drummers to see the first ones run or shall I say plod through I saw they had come from miles away. The best club name was definitely from Cheltenem 'almost athletes' I thought that that describes everyone! I immediately started clapping and saying 'well done' to any runner, which caused my daughter much embarrassment! Both seemed to edge away from me because they had no idea that the encouragement helps so much. It just seemed an embarrassment but i did not let that stop me. If I was not running, Icould at least get sore cold hands. Having been there we know cheering helps.
I was surprised to see people looking quite rough as though they had no chance of making the remaining miles at such an early stage. Not sure if it was running on pebbles or just they were not prepared for it! I am glad to say that none of these were from Honiton!
It was great when I noticed the Honiton shirts start coming. Of course my enthusiasm got more, the voice and clapping got louder. I was so proud to see you all going for it! By this time my family had edged to the water’s edge! When they returned, it was to say 'we are too cold' they have no idea! After the last Honiton runner came through I said we could go. When we got back to the car I suggested we go and meet the finishers. Well there was a great rebellion, so we ( me and the dog) went home to get them warm!
Wwell done to all and the cub who unfortunately I did not see. I hope you are not put off doing it next year, I am ! But i am told you get the bug for the Grizzly, so see you next year but I will be the other side and will remember the jelly babies(forgot them this year, can you imagine what that would have done to the embarrassment!) Hope all aches and pains are going,
Tracey - spectating
Ok my turn.
After dressing up with as many layers as I could (as many of you know I'm good at that) we picked Steve and Judy up. Judy was nervous but excited, Steve was not overly happy not to be running. We did the usual social bit before the race, catching up with everyone we know and giving the first timers last minute pieces of advice whether they wanted them or not. Steve and I stood on the beach taking photos (I will get them on the computer eventually) gradually being pushed further up the beach as the swarms of runners came past. Steve was still disappointed even though it was freezing.
Jo Jo came with us to Branscombe where I managed to get over the river on the beach to be in the middle to take pictures of both runs. You all looked great when you came down the hill and I have some interesting facial expressions on my photos when you entered the water (and Mark falling over). I was really pleased with myself getting these photos until it came to trying to get back across the water, which had now washed away more!! Let's just say I got wet trouser legs and boots!
We went back to Seaton and had a rather nice Grizzly burger to keep up our energy for the cheering ahead. As it was raining quite hard now, Steve said maybe he was glad he wasn't doing it. We got into a good position right next to the finish line to take more photos. Fran came in first, looking like she always does, like she hasn't done it! Then Richard, he did look like he'd done it. Hadley really looked like he done it! Then Judy came in fast looking really strong, we were impressed with what looked like a sprint finish.
Then came Bruce, he looked ok until he crossed the line, then I thought he was going to die! He usually likes to worry everyone when he finishes but he really excelled himself this year. Guy in the massage tent handed him a gel because he looked so bad. I walked him to the car, got him undressed and dressed again in as many layers as I could find him. I thought he was going to collaspe several times. I took him to a cafe and fed him hot chocolate, which he wasn't sure was going to stay down, but it did. After what seemed forever he ate some chips and started to come round. Then he was off again to cheer everyone else in!! After all that worry he was fine (thank God).
I have to say I was really pleased I didn't do it this year because of the weather and I think you all did amazingly and you should be extra proud of yourselves.
Here's to next year.
Jennie – HRC marshal
After a brisk walk to the Turks Head , regretting the decision to close the door on a warm house, I sheltered from the cold with Tony in the garage. Nick and Sandra arrived nearly at the agreed time but without bibs which were somewhere in Exeter. Would runners know we were marshals? Probably. T he risk was taken. Excitement mounted as we drove, together with secret relief that we had resisted the temptation to enter. Nick told us to wear trainers so we could jog to our points. I did. Fool. Wellies would have better, plus thermals. A quick coffee from Sandra duly polished off and the first runner came through - 5 minutes early - so I hastened to my spot. The first 20 or so runners are easy to spot: eyes focussed forwards, noticing nothing else. I started clapping - and didn't stop for 2 hours. Amazingly, the rest of the runners were smiling (or grimacing). Gradually, the mud got muddier, the rain turned to sleet, then to snow, and the runners took longer to stagger up the slope. Yet, they all responded to my rather wild cheering - some just managed a wan smile. Most were very appreciative, but, as I told anyone who cared to listen, very few people could get even to 12 miles, let alone the whole route. By the time my fingers were frozen and my throat sore, runners were finding it hard to negotiate the mud bath and we had long conversations before they disappeared round the corner. The kind comments from runners were most appreciated. I have so much admiration for every one of you and, no, I am not tempted to do the Grizzly next year.
Here’s my version of events!
It was possibly the coldest start to a race I have ever experienced and even three layers weren’t quite enough! The voice in the back of my head kept telling me not to start too fast as 20 miles is a long way, and 20 Grizzly miles is even longer! Despite my fear of the beach I took it easy and was surprised to still feel ok at the end, even the climbs to Beer and Branscombe didn’t seem too bad and I thought to myself that I was enjoying the run.
That was until we reached Branscombe beach and I was waist deep in the water which took my breath away and then the race seemed to begin. Hills upon hills and mud upon mud seemed endless and I’m sure I passed a halfway sign about 3 times in the woods!
Then there was the bog, by far the worst bit for me! I did fall in a bit, and then scrambled my way up the hill clinging to stinging nettles in places. This was the part where I felt like I wanted to cry but I got back on my feet and continued the climb...
For what seemed like forever we were running away from Branscombe, and when I saw the pub I thought we were now on the way back. Silly me – clearly there was more mud and climbing to come!
By the time I got to the beach at Branscombe again I was in serious need of fuel and even struggled to eat a Mars Bar while I walked along the beach, knowing that the Stairway to Heaven (and another reason to walk) awaited!
I was surprised that I was still able to run when we made it to the top and the sight of Seaton and knowing there was no more mud was the best feeling! When I was running back into Seaton I checked my Garmin and saw I was going to make it in 4 ½ hours however, I hadn’t accounted for the auto-pause function and the 17 minutes of paused time (or time when I was moving so slowly the watch thought I was paused!) bringing me in slightly later than anticipated.
When I crossed the line I was so relieved it was over and vowed, seriously, never to attempt it again!
The best part was the support, especially the Honiton RC crew – it’s so good to see a familiar face when you feel like you’re not going to make it to the end, so a massive thank you to the supporters!
My Grizzly experience began at the time of trying to enter. I was gutted when most of us didn’t manage to get a place before the race was full and it was a fraught few days before Garry P gave us special dispensation and allocated us some places.
The day began when Bruce and Tracey picked us up and Bruce has definitely got being nervous off to a fine art. Strangely, I was really excited but Bruce sent his vibes to me and I got nervous too! The start line has so many people gathered; you really don’t know where your club mates are - are they in front or behind? We were off and luckily I chose the high path on the beach and was spared the soaking- someone’s going to win £250 for filming that for “You’ve been Framed”, I’m sure. I got into my stride and gradually started to spot Honiton runners. I followed Mark Dallyn for a bit and caught up with him at Beer. We were together at 5 miles running towards Bransombe Beach when I said I was going to throw my gloves at Steve as I knew he’d be there. I did suggest that Mark could discard some item too and he said he would get rid of his top but he wouldn’t be able to get it off in time. He had the last laugh though because boy did I regret losing the gloves. Mark and I stayed together for about 7 miles and at some point we caught up with Howard at which time Howard said ‘you can have this one but you’re not having it yet!’ Unfortunately for Howard he starting feeling his calf and although I felt bad I left him and Mark behind. At about 12 ½ miles I managed to catch and overtake my AVR rival, Eleanor Wood, who probably knew I was there as Richard Harris had very vocally told her as we ran past him. That spurred me on as I didn’t want her to catch me but a few people in front of me had made a bad choice in the bog and got stuck and I had to backtrack and take a different route losing me precious seconds! As I approached Branscombe Beach for the return journey a couple of marshals/spectators told me that Bruce wasn’t far ahead. How far is not far? For a non-runner it could have been 10 minutes away. Anyway I quickly spotted a familiar black red and white shirt and he was walking. I realised Julian was with him (Julian doesn’t do Honiton vests!). It took almost the entire length of the beach but I caught them and I have to say they were a lot friendlier than when I did the same to Richard Harvey a few years back! The beach was when the cold really set in and the rest was pretty grim too. After a very long 3 miles, I reached Beer Gardens and with the thought of the rest being down hill, I got quite emotional and this is my 6th time! I have no hesitation, I for one, will definitely be back next year (Steve says he will too hopefully!)
It is my favourite race and I think the main reason is the marshals and spectators. They are local and many know you and if they don’t know you personally they cheer for Honiton. I think the marshals had a harder job than the runners on Sunday. We just got cold, they almost got hypothermia. Huge thanks to everyone. I’m very proud to be a member of such a club.
My Grizzly actually started on the Saturday as I give a hand with the Information Desk. Lots of people changing down from Grizzly to Cub and only about two doing the opposite and, yes, people do come in with spare numbers for the Cub and Grizzly so in the future just cross my palm with silver and I’ll get you a place.
Anyway to the day itself:
Having gone down for the club photo I sensibly decided that more kit was needed so jogged off to my kitbag for hat, gloves and running jacket. Unfortunately I was now disguised as a blue runner so most Honiton supporters missed their chance to cheer my efforts. On the other hand as I wasn’t doing the Grizzly I missed out on Nick’s encouraging words. At Bideford he shouted: “Get a move on Burgess, why are you so slow? There’s lots of old farts (or was it “buggers”) ahead of you!” A guy running beside me asked “Is he a friend of yours?” Ummm...? Back to the Cub. I started by facing the wrong way and had to shuffle through the speed merchants to a lowlier place near the rear. I’d just got to the beach and the usual dilemma of running shorter on the pebbles or longer on the shoreline when Judy came hurtling past, all hunched shoulders and elbows and far too much speed for my liking. I skidded off down to the shoreline only to see several runners, including Mark swamped by the waves so I headed to higher ground and jogged along to the sound of 2000 feet crunching through the shingle. Then it was back to the start along the esplanade and through the cheering throng and on up the hill to Beer. I was soon overtaken by Steve Briggs and Mark Andow and then to my amazement Fran came skipping past. Why was she so far back? A minute or so later I had a glimpse of her cresting a hill having skipped twice my distance with seemingly no effort at all. The run into Beer is always good; it’s downhill you’re running fast, spectators clap and cheer and you feel like a proper runner. The illusion doesn’t last long because far too soon you have the climb to Beer Head and “how far shall I run before I walk?” So, a brisk walk it was to the top and a strange screeching noise which turned out to be bagpipes, always guaranteed to put a spring in your sporran. Now I could see a long line of runners heading down into the caravan park and stretching left towards the distant cliff tops. But what’s that?! I don’t believe it! On the far skyline directly in front, were the tiny silhouettes of runners as they raced back inland already finishing mile three as I was just starting mile two. Obviously not enough spring in my sporran, I’d better get a move on. It wasn't long before I had a sharp left turn away from the proper runners and onto the Cub run short cut. From being in a crowd it was the “Loneliness of the Long Distant Runner” with hardly anyone in sight. I went past a couple of shivering little girls in the middle of nowhere handing out jelly babies and then had a steady jog across the top to Branscombe. I was just rounding a hedge when I almost ran into Jo (Lowman) and Maggie but completely missed seeing Ian and Paul standing a few yards away. Hats off to our supporters standing in the freezing wind to help us on our way. We slow Cubbers had now rejoined the Grizzly at the sharp end. This was downright dangerous because we quickly came to a steep, twisting, slippery descent down a narrow, stony track which I normally enjoy but all I could hear was thundering feet, the clatter of stones, and shouts of “Coming through!” as runner after runner charged past at suicidal pace. It was a relief to emerge into the open with the stunning view over Branscombe ahead and a nice steady run down to the beach. I was expecting the water crossing but wasn’t expecting to be in up to my thighs – ah well that’s Axe Valley for you. There was just time to acknowledge Ceri and her kids and Jo Jo and Steve before heading back up the beach. I opted for the shore line, made good progress and just got in front of a lass from Wooten Bassett Hounds before we turned up the stairway to heaven. She obviously decided that I was far too old to be beating her so scurried past at the first opportunity and strode out manfully(?) up the steps. OK, two can play at that game. As she plodded ahead of me up the steep grassy slope at the top of the cliff I took her by surprise by starting to run just before the top and legged it past her down the next field. She wasn't giving up and overtook me again as we dropped into the caravan park. I got her on next slope, held her off to Jubilee Gardens in Beer but then she passed me again as I plodded up the steps. Right madam! I forced myself to run up the next slope to the road and finally left her as I scuttled down The Bitch (v. steep hill- AVR’s name) into Seaton. I was still feeling good and overtook a couple more runners before having the lovely run down the hill to the finish. A very enjoyable and a much easier day than the warriors who fought themselves round the Grizzly, but I let heart rule head at the Stagger and paid for it, so no warriors’ tale to tell, but no last, four miserable miles of pain either.
Until Sunday I didn't know what a creature of habit I am and I also didn't know how much I need Steve to race but ill explain this later.
My race as usual starts about 8 weeks before with me making plans to put together the best and hardest training schedule ever known to man. This plan always takes me 2 weeks to write and then another 2 week of finding excuses not to go running and then 4 weeks of panic running with no real aim or purpose. The only upside to this is that when anyone from the club asks hows the training? I can honestly say that im following a very tough and demanding schedule and it seems to be going really well.
The run up to Sunday starts with a cold and not any old cold, its possibly got a bit of black death and typhoid mixed in for good measure, but when you are super fit like me it only take 3 day to get it out the system, but it was touch and go.
So Grizzly day starts with porridge that I never eat due to the simple fact that I hate the stuff and try and drink water not coffee. Two large mug's of coffee later I try and find my running stuff from the selection of tops and shorts I have hidden in every drawer and cupboard in the house. Then it's onto the big decision of the day what t-shirt do I wear to the race. If I go with last years Grizzly shirt does it say I have only done one other race and it was last year or do I go with an old random off-road event shirt that says I am a seasoned off-road runner or am I thinking too much about it again. One think I have just thought of is I should put as much thought into my training as I do into t-shirt selection.
All my running kit is now coming with me as I don't know yet what I'm going to race in ,but I have a plan when I get to the race; I'll see what my fellow runners are going out in and do as they do.
Its now 9.00 and as usually I am very early so I can sit in the car and wait for the rest of our lot to turn up.
It's now I need Steve as it's always best to see what he is going to run in and just copy him because as a rule he is spot on with his selection.
Wellies,jeans,thick coat and a hat, I am in trouble as they are probably the only thing I don't have in the car and surly he is going to struggle in wellies or does he know something the rest of us don't.
OK Steve's not running, so that's sad for him but oh well that's me one spot higher in the club rankings.
The race starts but again Steve is our pace-maker for the first mile and he is on the side watching us so we are all stuffed so we set of at a very pleasant pace with a bit of chatting and even some banter with other runners, as opposed to the usual flying start at a pace only Steve thinks is a good idea at the start of 20 Grizzly miles.
Then it all gets a bit blurry but It goes a a bit like this,big hill,mud,big hill,mud,big hill and more bloody mud. That seems to sum it up apart from some how I got away from Bruce and Julian but got overtaken by a girl (Fran) near the end.
Running and racing for me is about being competitive and pushing my body to do things it really doesn't want to do but it is also about being a member of a great club with a shed load of superb athletes of all abilities who all raced on the big day..
PS We all need Steve back as he was missed on the day.
Well lets just say I was and wasn't looking forward to the Grizzly Cub. It was, because it's the grizzly and its always tough fun and a great atmosphere, and I wasn't as due to various illnesses I haven't run much.
I followed Nick B-C in to Seaton and we sat in the car looking at the weather, debating why we were here, what we were going to wear and summing up the courage to step outside and get a cup of tea.
We found a welcoming cafe on the front and warmed up, Nick had a bacon bap and we watched the weather. On the way back to the car we went via the town hall and bumped into Bruce, Tracey, Steve, Judy, and Richard H. We also saw John B sporting the grizzly t shirt and I liked it and it gave me a spring in my step.
Time was ticking so we went back to the car to change and get ready. We bumped into other members of the club such as Lyn, Clare, Steve B, Lesley etc and the usual chat continued. Looking at the club members doing the full grizzly it brought back memories of last year when I did the full one. I thought did I look that nervous?
So start line time and the feelings of dread hit me strongly, knowing what was ahead of me. The sound of 3000+ plus runners on shingle is an amazing sound but it tires your legs and I thought how will I get round this. It was lovely to see Paul and co on the cliff and then Tracey at Branscombe and this gives you a lift. It wasn't too cold until we had to go through the water at Branscombe, I was not expecting that, and we had to go through twice. I jumped in and it was deeper than I thought and I had a cold bum. So trying to get my legs working on the shingle was a tough challenge but I saw Claire from Chard runners in front of me so she was my goal and motivation.
Finally made it to Stairway to Heaven and at the top I knew the worst was over. Although I didn't like the round the corner up the hill when we hit Seaton. I am always happy to reach Seaton gardens and see the finish.
As most people know the first thing I do when I finish the run is to collect my momento.
Trying to get changed was interesting as my fingers were white and wouldn't work. Nick and I warmed up in a cafe and I prepared for my next role in the Grizzly, massaging with Guy and the crew. It was nice to do this, to give something back to the Grizzly and help out my fellow runners. Having completed the Grizzly I knew what a hard challenge it is. Plus it was great to be so close to the finish and hearing people coming in. Considering the weather we had a large number of runners wishing for a massage, we just needed a heated tent o warm everyone up. Our massages were short as people were getting so cold as they were tired wet and had run in snow wind and sleet.
Finally arrived home at 5 by which time my run had caught up with me and I was shattered.
Thank you to all marshals and well done to everyone