Today has been a nerve-wracking day: it's results day for the Grizzly 2018 race ballot, and my phone has been pinging all afternoon since the first set of results began coming out at lunchtime with friends who've either got in and are ecstatic or haven't and are sad.
You may remember me running the Grizzly Cub back in March of this year- it was the first real race I'd done: 9 miles over the cliffs and around the beaches between Seaton and Branscombe. The race is hosted by Axe Valley Runners and pulls in about 1500 competitors from all round the country and a few from abroad split between the two distances (9 mile Cub, 20 mile Grizzly). M has been doing it for years, in all weathers and in all conditions. Some years I've sunbathed on the beach waiting for him to finish, others it's hailed and blizzarded, and one memorable year it blew a gale - Louise and I sat in a coffee shop staring out at the driving rain while bins and shop signs hurtled past the windows. Last year the Gods Of Grizzly were kind and the weather was just about perfect for running. The low-key, minimal fuss, no razzmatazz of it suits me perfectly. Instead of bells and whistles, it's all about the running. And the T-Shirt at the end of course, which has over the years achieved a kind-of cult status among trail runners. My Grizzly hat is one of my most prized possessions :o)
Last week, I heard back from London that I hadn't got a marathon place. This was no biggy as I had no intention of running it in 2018 anyway. It would have been handy because I could have refunded my Edinburgh entry on the strength of it, but c'est la vie. Out of the two, the Grizz was the one I really wanted.
Just after lunch I checked my phone and an email pinged up saying: Grizzly Ballot Success. I'm in! Yay! And this time I'm going for the Full Grizzly Experience: 20 miles of cliffs, bogs, pebbles, rivers and general hard-core running. Training starts mid-December, something the new trail shoes above will doubtless come into their own for. The other set I was advised to get were clearly sold by a road runner; they weren't gore-tex so at the first sign of wet weather running they baptised my feet soundly. These new inov8's are gore-tex'd up to their eyeballs and should keep my feet nice and dry through a winter's worth of marathon training. And you've gotta love running shoes that are called Trail Talons. If I'm feeling tired all I'll need to do is channel the wild energy implied and it'll get me round.
Hope all are well?