Braving the Brutal

brutal10Top Doer Joe Birch tells us his hilarious account of the muddy Brutal10…

In February 2013 I completed a 10k run in support of the DoNation. As I usually find with these things, whilst it was painful enough at the time, I now look back on it with a sort of honey-tinted, self-congratulatory glow.

Having consequently shown myself to be the sort of person who has legs, and is willing to run about on them for long periods of time, I was un-surprised when Harriet (my main contact at The DoNation) brazenly asked me whether I would like to do another run this year. She was admirably honest from the outset about the fact that this one would be a bit different in that it would be a ‘Brutal 10k’ mud run.

I wasn’t too worried about the ‘mud’ part of the description. I’ve never particularly minded getting wet or muddy. However, the word brutal has some negative connotations for me. Police brutality, brutal muggings, all of these phrases sprung to mind and conspired to make me feel sceptical about the whole proposition.

However, having had a nervous peep at the Brutal 10k website, I was able to steel myself and agree to take part. There didn’t seem to be any prospect of electrocution, beatings, falling from a great height from slippery obstacles etc etc. In fact mud and physical exertion seemed to be the sum total of the proposed brutality. It seemed like bog-standard stuff (sorry, terrible joke).

The weather on the day was lovely for the time of year, very warm and sunny. I was extremely grateful for this because the mud was very deep and squidgy, and if it had been freezing cold I think things would’ve been much more uncomfortable than they actually were.

On the whole the mud made the event more fun than last year’s normal un-muddy run. It obviously slowed everybody down, but it was quite funny trying to squelch through the stuff and there was a nice sense of camaraderie as people helped each other out when they got stuck. Some people did the whole course with their dogs (larger breeds of course) and that was particularly awesome to see. Dogs love mud, and therefore I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many happy looking hounds.

gang at brutal10

I stuck with my good friend Eliott for the whole race. We had similar fitness levels and it was great to have somebody to help you out in the tougher spots. We both finished in 2 hours and 6 minutes, though I must admit that Eliott crossed the finish line slightly before me. I will forgive him, someday.

I was treated wonderfully well by The DoNation – they drove me to the event (and back), and gave me a banana afterwards. They really are a great organisation, so please do support them in any way that you can.

joe at brutal10

You can still make a pledge for Joe here.

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