I’ve been looking forward to writing this blog and I can now say that I survived the snow, wind, rain, and knee deep bogs, the endless hills and pebbles of the Grizzly run!...The months of training, fundraising, blogs, porridge and fudge finally paid off.
On Sunday 10th March at 10.30am, some of you may have been celebrating Mother’s Day; I was running cross country for 20 miles. Even after all my training, I wasn’t prepared for what was in front of me and it was the hardest thing I have done in my life.
My cousin and I started running along the pebbles in Seaton, making our way to Beer, where the crowds were amazing. Having been brought up in Beer, this is where I received a lot of support. Loud cheers and applause could be heard from a good distance away. At mile 8 I was greeted by a samba band on Branscombe beach, the course took us along more pebbles through a pond of sea and up another dreaded hill. This endless, uneven hill was one of the worst. It spiraled up and up, higher and higher. I tried my hardest to pick my feet up and run but it was a mud slide. Instead of grip on my trainers, I had shoes of mud, struggling to run or even walk this took me a while to progress up the hill, I felt like I was getting nowhere.
My cousin who ran with me had run the Grizzly before. He mentioned a few times about the ‘bog’; I just thought this meant getting muddy and splashing in a few puddles. Then I smelt them. I waded through the knee deep bogs, not only was the smell awful, but I found myself sinking and getting sucked into the ground. I’m sure some runners lost their trainers or they had to be pulled out by the giggling photographer who was observing from the most comical point.
In my head I thought from the Fountain Head pub I’d be on the home run, all I had to do was run along the stretch of pebbles, up the cliff towards Beer, over the fields into Beer village and arrive in Seaton. It was easier said than done. At this point I was in a lot of pain and had stinging and aching pains running down my legs from my hips. As I was making my way up the cliff I could feel myself feeling faint and ill, I staggered through the undergrowth and lost sight of my cousin. When I reached the top I could see a Coastguard coming towards me, I couldn’t focus and knew that I needed assistance. I then realised that the Coastguard helping me was my dad, my hero and I couldn’t be happier to see him. I really felt at this point that I couldn’t go on. I was shaking, in pain and felt weak. After my dad gave me sweets and water and some lovely words of encouragement, I was ready to run the further 3 miles.
5 hours after I began, I ran to the finish line with my friends and boyfriend cheering me on, they greeted me with hugs and happy faces. The start line to me now was a distant memory; I’d actually done it and was overwhelmed by a feeling of relief and achievement. After a warm down and the collection of my well deserved ‘Grime and Punishment’ T-shirt I was ready to go home and celebrate Mother’s Day with my family.
The words ‘thank you’ aren’t enough to everyone that’s supported me. The marshals, my family, friends and boyfriend that came to watch me, the friendly man playing the bag pipes, the samba band members, everyone who gave me words of encouragement and people that had faith in me. Thank you for the sponsorship I’ve received, for reading my blogs and following my progress - I couldn’t have done it without you all. So far I have raised over £880, I’m still collecting sponsors and I’ll be sure to give you an update on my total amount raised. To follow my progress, please visit http://www.justgiving.com/Nicola-Russell2
Update: 19 March 2012
Thank you to everyone that has sponsored me. I ran the Grizzly on the 10th March in 5 hours and have managed to raise £1,042.10 for The Donkey Sanctuary. I really couldn't have done it without your help and I'm honestly overwhelmed by how generous people have been. Thank you. xxx