Five members of Notfast Running Club went to Keyworth for the annual Crossdale 10k. Essentially a trail / cross-country event it provides runners with pretty well every surface imaginable.  Always a very well organised event most would find it hard to fault, though most would wince when describing the Killer Hill at the end.

David Watt              47.07

Wyn Thomas           51.36

Chris Baker             52.53

John Geeson          53.41

Liz Walton              59.42


The Southwell Triathlon involves a 400metre pool swim followed by a hilly 17.6 k bike ride finishing off with 5k of running

Kira Green was very pleased with a PB time of 1.33.16, which included her first sub 30 minute 5k

Steve Needham also competed with a time of 1.29.21


Jill McIntyre was in Derbyshire for the Endurer Dash 10k race. This is another of those crazy obstacle races with the usual hay bales, slurry pits, monkey bars and walls to climb.  The fact that the course was devised by none other than the Royal Marine Commandos probably defines it as a toughie

A battered Jill Mac finished in 1 hour 31 mins


Mike Bullock having taken on the “Beauty and the Beast” marathon in Henley. This course was planned by Helly Hansen and was intended to make the most seasoned of distance runners meet their Nemesis.  Now Mike rarely complains about tough courses.  He describes “un-runnable hills” and “no flat sections” and…..

considered packing in at 6miles.

Marshalls were busy taking the injured and exhausted back to the first aid tent.  Now this must be one of Mike’s slowest marathons ever, but with a time of 4 hours 40 mins,  over an hour down on his previous slowest, this still gave him a finishing position of 30th out of 150 solo runners.

See Mike’s own report below.

Mike’s report. 

I can run slightly over 3 hours for a marathon. My slowest is 3 hours 30.

Then Helly Hansen invented a ridiculous event called beauty and the beast , a 26.2 mile off road race  in Henley, with only 100m of flat, the rest being massive uphills and downhills . Having spent 6 months training exclusively on hills and mud, I thought this would play to my strengths, how wrong could I be?

After a 9 hour drive to get there, I arrived, and thought I had taken the wrong road and ended up at mont blanc. The terrain was mountainous and the sun was already beginning to scorch the earth.  Lizards hung about, panting in the heat, eating Haagen Daas ice cream with their long lizardy tongues.

A mile walk uphill to register should have prepared me, especially after then walking a mile back to the car, then yet another mile uphill to the start .

Coaching manuals suggest you should start all marathons steadily, but a 300m vertical drop was our first challenge, followed by runs through tree-root-ridden forests, hills, hills and hills.
6 laps of this totally unrunnable course were torment on both body and mind. After 6 miles I tried to retire with a groin pull, but a fantastic marshall uttered the fateful words “you can pull out but will you be able to sleep tonight?”. I swore at him and said yes, so he replied “will you hate yourself tomorrow morning? ”

Having been shamed into continuing, I gritted my teeth and went for the whole 6 Laps, with all my muscles in total agony. At the end of each lap was a 600m uphill which was completely unrunnable, at the top of which I had to stop for 5 minutes and eat energy bars every time. How many races have I had to stop and recharge every 4 miles?????. Any hill that has been given it’s own name should be treated with respect, and when this hill is called the beast, you can’t really complain about being mislead.

Now it’s fair to say supporters banter has carried me through many a dark place but groups of people sat drinking beer shouting ‘get those knees up ‘, ‘try harder’ and ‘try harder, you’re not even sweating doesn’t fit into my list of motivational speaking. I hope they feel good about themselves this morning!

Out of about 500 runners, 150 did the solo marathon and the rest were in teams of 6, even they struggled to do a full lap without walking. Dune buggies were in overdrive all day, carrying injured runners back to the first aid tent as they ran out of energy, courage, or leg power.

If you know me, you know I love a running challenge, but there’s a big difference between challenge and impossibility. How can a marathon with only 100m of flat actually exist? I thought Henley was all about rowing, (rivers don’t go uphill) .The downhills were actually too steep to run, so no chance to catch up lost time. I actually tried running the beast backwards on lap 6 to see if it would hurt less.

Good goody bag and t-shirt though!

In a nutshell, I got eaten by a beast, and am still looking for the beauty to cheer me up!

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