Marshaling at the Bright10 with the BOSH crew!

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The Sector D marshals, ready for duty! (Taken from the Facebook page).

On Sunday, I was up and on the road by 5h13 (yep, such a traumatic experience that I remember the exact time on the clock!) to make my way down to Brighton for the Bright10 road race. But instead of running, this time I donned my BOSH top and a bright pink high vis jacket and experienced things from the other side of the cones – or in this case, in between them!

If you’re going to volunteer at a road race, BOSH are a fab group to do it with. They’re a hugely friendly and supportive bunch, and welcomed me into the fold from the moment I arrived (in the cold and the dark, pre-7am!)

The marshaling itself was fairly straight forward; we were assigned a junction each along the Marine Parade and were instructed to manage the road blocks that were in place. There were a few notable moments – the biggest of which being when the lead runners were almost taken out by a bus! (I can confirm the crisis was narrowly avoided, and the winner finished in an amazing 47:04). There were also a couple of sumo wrestlers, a running minion and an elderly guy in teeny tiny Union Jack shorts and a bright purple wig… Rather you than me, guys!

Whilst we were spaced too far apart to talk to each other, we managed to create a Mexican wave of cheering and support for the runners as they passed, and the atmosphere was brilliant (despite being freezing cold – after 2 hours of standing still, I definitely envied the runners!)

Marshaling at the Bright10 with Bosh

Once we got the nod to leave our posts, we crossed the road and cheered the runners on from above. (We might also have heckled a man who took a not-so-sneaky bathroom break at the side of the course…) 😉 I think we managed to spot almost every Bosher on the course!

I then headed back to the race village, where all of the marshals were given a free cake (sooo good) and I got to have a bit of a chat with some of the other Boshers – in the daylight, this time 🙂

Bosh thank you for marshaling at the Bright10

My thank you note and epic Bosh bag. What a lovely gift!

The marshals were each given a very thoughtful thank you gift – a BOSH bag, which I will definitely be taking to ALL of my races from now on to show it off!

If you want to join a fantastic group of runners of all abilities, ages, backgrounds and from all over the UK, I encourage you to go and join the Facebook page!

Brighton beach after the Bright10

Failed selfie that makes me smile so up it goes!

I spent the afternoon with James (yep, I totally made him get the train down to meet me. But I let him have a lie in, and drove him home, so I feel completely justified!), eating my body weight in sausage and chips and trying to keep myself awake with coffee.

Brighton was stunning, even with the clouds – and sitting on the beach listening to the waves was a perfect end to a brilliant day!

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Brighton, you beaut.

Did you run this weekend? How did it go? 🙂

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Race Review: Women Only Brutal 10

This event could have gone one of two ways.

One: The half a dozen colleagues (and my Mum) who I managed to rope in with me could have loved it, and I would feel smug for having found a few more people to drag along to various running events through the year. (As if they’d stop at just one – we all know how addictive running can be!)

Two: They could have hated it, and never trusted me again. Very possible.

How I managed to convince them in the first place, I don’t know. Running 10k through waist-high mud and ice-cold water and up hills in the middle of January doesn’t sound hugely appealing on paper. The event website didn’t entirely help my cause:

The Women’s race is set for the coldest and wettest time of the year so you can be assured of all the elements contained in a true Brutal race. We have a fantastic Brutal course which is designed with two x 5km laps, which allows runners to get the maximum sogginess, mud and climb available. The climb on the course comprises of short sharp hills, the wet will be in abundance with many large and long water areas and the mud will make even the lightest trail racers feel like lead.’

Especially when a couple of said workmates had never run 10k before, so would have to train for the event beforehand – pushing through the early ‘why am I doing this I hate running everything hurts LUCY YOU SUCK!’ stages without pulling out.

Luckily, I was sensible and signed them up and got their money before I sent them the link to the event website.

We lost one along the way, but last Saturday we were 6 strong, and felt suitably badass (and a bit concerned) when we clocked the temperatures – -3 the night before, with highs of 5 degrees that day. Ouch.

The event had a great atmosphere, with loads of people in fancy dress and war paint. Luckily, there were plenty of Brutal newbies, so we didn’t feel out of place! There were also tons of portaloos, and the registration and bag drop process was quick and painless. The warmup was great, led by one of the military guys (though we couldn’t hear him very well, and instead just copied what the people around us were doing).

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Can’t take credit for this photo – check it out on Twitter.

Within a kilometre or two, we were into the first water section. My initial reaction was ‘so much for waist high!’ and also, ‘holy ****, COLD!’

The water sections were iced over at the start, and had to be broken up by a Range Rover before the runners set off; when we reached them, there were still huge chunks of ice floating past us (I’m talking a cm thick and up to a foot square). Despite the cold, we were having a great time! Being a women-only event, it was all rather civilised – people moved aside to let the faster runners past, helped each other through the obstacles and chatted and laughed (and screamed!) along the way.

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Then we reached the mud. By the second lap we actually looked forward to the mud, as it was warmer than the water! However it was also very soft and deep, and if you stepped in the wrong place you would disappear up to your hips or higher. Might have made that mistake… But at least we didn’t face plant!

Brutal Women Only 2015, Long Valley #racephoto #sussexsportphotography

The army guys were brilliant at motivating us along. On the second lap, one of them headed over for a high five before shouting ‘You own this course! This course doesn’t own you!’ (Pahaha). One of my friends got a ‘DECIMATE THAT HILL!’

… Adding those to my mantras!

I’ll admit, we didn’t manage to get much of a rhythm going on this course. When we weren’t wading through water or mud, we were making our way up stupidly steep hills in the woods, over tree trunks and through rough undergrowth. It was hard work, but was broken up in the first lap as there were loads of 5k runners – we found that we had to stop and wait at most of the obstacles for the crowds to clear. Definitely appreciated the forced breaks, but if you’re going for a good time, be warned – there were lots of bottlenecks.

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After the last muddy section of the loop, you think you’ve made it – and then you turn the corner and see what looked like a river ahead of you. It was deep, wide, and extremely cold. (The momentarily-can’t-breathe kind of cold).

Brutal Women Only 2015, Long Valley #racephoto #sussexsportphotography

After that, it was just a few metres to the finish line, where they announced each runner as they came through. Lovely touch! They had water, squash and bananas for us at the finish – and volunteers were peeling the bananas for us as we were so cold and stiff!

It’s worth noting that there are no changing facilities at the event – people were just getting changed in the car park. Believe me, you’ll be so eager to get into some warm dry clothes that you won’t care by the time you get back to the car!

Overall, we LOVED this event – and are already looking for others to sign up for! If you’re interested, you can find more information on the Brutal Run website.

If you need more motivation, the medal and tshirts are brilliant:

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