Saturday, February 23, 2013

Human Race Events

I gave a pretty rough review here the other day after a tedious 10km race in NonSuch Park. So, credit where credit's due, it's time to big up a race that I did today (that I've done before..) by Human Race Events.

Me - with a cup of iced water
Human Race have been around for a number of years now, and BB and I have done most of their events. There's Kingston Breakfast Run, Windsor triathlon, Bananaman triathlon in Dorney, and the Tuff Man, Wild Man, Ice Man etc; events to name but a few. Today I did the Tuff Man event, and it was, well, the clue's in the name - tough !

First of all when we arrived it was snowing.. ew ! But, for once, I was organised and had taken alternative clothes so instead of the black, wicking, ASICS top that I had planned to wear, I switched it for a wicking, fleece-lined top which I knew was a lot warmer. I also started off with a hat on (well, a Buffy actually), which I took off half way round, but it stopped my ears freezing during the first half.) I clued for the loo, and chatted with a guy that was doing a sponsored event every month for the whole year with a team of friends. What a hero! It's really nice to be inspired and share race stories with fellow runners.

The race was only 8km, but it felt a lot longer due to the terrain down at Pippingford Park Estates. Thankfully, there were no loops, it was a circular course, so you never trod the same steps twice. That's my kind of race! There were hills, and at times the route led past a small stream/river.. During the race briefing the organiser mentioned that last year, some competitors had actually fallen in the water ! How on earth would they do that  .. ? I found myself wondering,  and thinking you'd have to be really, really silly to do that, no ??

Fast-forward 30-odd minutes, that terrain was serious fun, but even in my Salomon trail shoes at times I was like Bambi out there, and that's when I too ended up in the river ! I didn't actually fall in hands first, or head first, or even land on my bottom, I just misjudged where to put my foot next, and instead of standing on the mud, ended up in the water, and then I was in the mud, and then a guy was offering to 'pull' me out, and then a girl overtook me, and then I managed to scramble back onto the mud. Phew! It made me chuckle.. well I'm chuckling now, at the time I was wondering about how my frozen feet were ever going to come back to life enough for me to complete the race. I promise, races like this, make you feel *alive*.

We were pretty alone out there, there weren't very many races marshalls, although as it was a short route, and circular, you were never that far away from help. Most of those that I did see offered an encouraging word as you passed, which is most appreciated.

At the end, the kind ladymarshall asked me if I was OK and leaned down and chopped off my race tag. I think she could see that I felt a bit sick.. and a bit cold.. which I did. BB was there waiting for me, having finished the race 5 minutes before me. I was offered coconut water in a carton, and little sweatbands branded with the Coconut water logo, and there was also Iced water (hadn't I had enough ice ??) and Power Bars to choose from. The guy who served the water shared a word with me, which, again, was really nice.

I queued for my t-shirt. BB had registered us for the race, and at sign-up you specify the size that you would like, so the person looked up my number and handed me my t-shirt. How perfect is that ! After the last race that I did, I was seriously impressed. Although not totally surprised as Human Race are very good at the details, which does make a difference to the overall race experience.

We went back to the car and changed into dry clothes. Then BB said, you know you can go and get your time right now, if you want. Yes, in a tent, there is an area, where you can enter your race number into a key pad and get your race stats, your time, your Gender position, and your Overall position. Fantastic !

My stats were as follows: Time: 47:09 Overall Position: 89/130 Gender Position: 18/40 Cat position: 4 / 10

I was pleased with my time. Overall the race was a Win! Win! Win! If you feel like having a go, there's one more race left in the '... Man' series. April 6th is the TrailMan race. Check out the web site for more details.

You can also follow Human Race on twitter - @HumanRaceEvents

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