This was Simon Funnells idea – what a great way to spend a morning, not ankle deep, knee deep or even ‘just’ waist deep in thick, smelly, mud……oh no, fuelled by recent rain the mud was chest deep in places (depending on your height, where you placed, or misplaced, your feet, and whether you kept your balance!). 8 of us were ‘persuaded’ but after 2 late withdrawals we were a ‘team’ of 6 (Simon, Simons friend Colin, me, Danielle, Fabian and Amanda). In practice this was really 2 ‘teams’ of 3. I say ‘teams’ loosely because teamwork wasn’t necessary apart from the odd helping hand – sharing the ‘fun’ was what it was more about!
The Brutal doesn’t have man-made obstacles or any ‘assault course’ content – its a straight 10k run, but on a course chosen specifically to take participants through the worst of the terrain, rather than around it. With lovely names like Grunge Alley, the Birdbath, and Dead Mans Bog you kind of know what you’re in for!
And, we did indeed get very, very muddy! And interestingly, the mud did indeed smell. Quite a lot. I still think a bit seaweedy, but with a good whiff of rottenness in it too. Simon brought along his Brut body spray but trust me, that smelled even worse! And, of course, there are no washing facilities afterwards – rub it off with a towel and pop something less smelly on, but that’s as good as it gets! Oh, and a burger van – of which full use was made!!!
10K times, in fact times in general, are really irrelevant on something like this – when you’re chest deep in (the weather was kind, NOT freezing but certainly Cold!) muddy water you aren’t really thinking too much about ‘sub 60 minute 10K’s’ – just not about slipping and going under!
There was lots of good humour- people who complain a lot or are a bit ‘precious’ tend NOT to do these things, so everybody (and the field was over 400) just jumped and and got on with it. It was great fun and I’ll be back next year.