I’d been eyeing up the Gruesome Twosome for two reasons. Firstly, I’ve always been a fan of races where you get something ‘different’ at the end (one of the reasons the EHH 20 is a favourite!) and so wanted to add a beanie to my collection. Secondly, I like hills! With this in mind, when I got the call from Lucas Meagor (Beverley AC runner but I forgive him) asking if I wanted to run it with him, it didn’t take long to say yes!
It was Friday night when Lucas contacted me. “I’ll pick you up at 8:20am”. I thought he was just keen and wanted to beat the traffic but instead Lucas parked us up under the Humber Bridge where we lined up for the race run with friends around little Switzerland to complete the Humber Bridge Parkrun. Surprisingly, I was not the only harrier daft enough to attempt this with Keith CONKERTON and Michael DUGAN getting some early practice in with only 1 second between them!
After adopting a steady pace around parkrun (within a minute of my PB!! Doh!) we set off again over the bridge towards Swallow. Parking up in the field I was greeted to a sea of red. There were harriers everywhere! A quick trip to collect our numbers and we were changed and trotting down towards the start line.
After a quick speech from the organisers, we were off. Rounding the first corner and up the first hill. Not knowing what to expect later on I sprinted up it. The race turned right and right again to a steep downhill which I attacked like it was the final 100 metres. Little did I know that my ambitious pace over the first 4 or 5 miles would be something that I would come to regret later on in the race. Although not as much as Lucas regrets allowing himself to slip and slide his way to a view of the sky.
What followed was a literal rollercoaster of ups and downs and at around nine miles my earlier efforts finally came back to bite me in the behind. I found myself having to walk the last two climbs at miles 9.5 and 11.5 and during this time I was passed by what seemed like a 1000 runners and was sure that this would become a race that I wouldn’t be looking to repeat anytime soon. However, after 1 hour and 56 minutes of running, 700+ feet (213+ metres) of climbing, a 74th place finish, a cup of coffee, a sausage roll and saying hello to other harriers, I found myself already planning next year’s race. Lucas on the other hand is being a sissy and unless this name-calling has any effect…I’ll be needing a new partner 😉 .
All things considered, this race is definitely ‘Gruesome’ but also lots of fun! It is by far, the best warm up to the off road season where for those looking for something to do on a cold and rainy winter Saturday, you can find more mud and a few hills in the East Hull Harriers Winter League.
This is where I would normally say well done to Richey “hill-runner-extraordinaire” Buckle and Matty “got-a-replacement-beanie” Hayes for bringing home the bacon in the famous red vests. However, on this occasion, I would like to say a bigger well done to the other 38 harriers who enjoyed the views so much they spent longer than 1 hour and 23 minutes out on the course and still smiled at the finish!
P.S. We made up nearly 10% of the race entries!!!