Based in the Midlands, just outside Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire the Beast Race takes place twice a year, using an equine cross country course as the basis for the race, so rather than a plethora of manmade obstacles (there were three, a tyre step section, a cargo net to go under and a short sandbag carry) there is a steady stream of horse “friendly” logs, fences, steps and jumps, with some water crossings thrown in for good measure.
The terrain is an undulating mixture of grassland, muddy fields and the odd piece of hard packed trail. Participants are normally offered one or two laps of the course, but for this, the tenth anniversary a third loop was available. With each lap coming in at around 8 kilometres that are a grand total of 24 kilometres, or 15 miles if you prefer. As this was my first race of 2018, I chose the three laps option (I’m not always the sharpest tool in the box).
After a painless registration, a wander around the small event arena (two food merchants and a running gear stall) and the obligatory pre-race trips to the Portaloo, I was ready to rock and roll. Now, there are two pretty certain facts about February in the UK, it will be cold, and it will be wet, the 18th was no exception to this. With an air temperature of 2 degrees, a lingering mist and a stiff breeze layering up were essential. However, true to form the weather shifted halfway through the race leaving me wetter from perspiration than from the water crossings.
At 11:00 we all left the arena en masse, around 225 runners in total taking on one, two or three laps, being near the back of the pack (too busy fiddling with my watch to notice the start) I had to weave through the slower runners to find some space, settle into a rhythm and enjoy the course. I intended to pick a steady pace and hold it for the whole race, however, I got carried away, ultimately finishing the first lap too fast, too hot, very bothered and thirsty. I dumped a base layer at the drinks station, threw some fluid down my neck (forgot to open my mouth again) grabbed a piece of flapjack and set off for lap two.
One thing I really liked about the race was the split at the end each lap, going left meant another lap, going right meant you were done, add to that an uphill finish I can see why some folk bailed and took the right lane, not me, I was feeling sinister (the Latin word sinistra originally meant “left” but took on meanings of “evil” or “unlucky” by the Classical Latin era).
A quick feed and successful hydration stop and lap three were upon me; I could see a couple of other runners a few hundred meters ahead of me. I did not know if they were tail enders from laps one and two or like me triple attempters, to my flapjack filled brain they may as well have targets on their backs.
Charge… and stop.
While my ego said, “Run Forest, Run” my heart had other ideas, checking back I maxed at 197 BPM which is way too high. So, rather than do a “Burko” (OCR in-joke) I eased off, took off more clothes and started to chip away at the gap between me and the next runner.
The first chap I caught up with was in a bad way, he was stumbling along, but coherent so I left him run his race, the next 6km saw me pass two more “triplers”, both of whom were struggling with the cold after the final water crossing. They gave me a thumbs-up, and I pushed on towards the final hill and the finish. Pulling the last bit out of the tank and letting my ego take control I went for a sprint finish, which was a good idea as I’d failed to notice a runner who had snuck up behind me. Long story short, I held my own and pipped him to the metaphorical post, job done.
In summary, it was a great race, well priced at £35, with excellent use of terrain. Add in a decent T-shirt, a medal and a face full of flapjack, and you have happy bunnies all round.
Get The Details On
The Beast Run – Ten Year TripleOCR Review
- Event Website
- When Was The Event?
- 18th February 2018
- Was This A Qualification Race?
- Reviewed By
- Richard “Itch” Ward
- About The Reviewer
- Richard was born in the late 60’s, the consequence of a chance encounter between a one-handed truck driver and a Catholic. He finds being described as an athlete vexing.
- What Age Group Was I In?
- No Age Group
- Type Of Competitor
- Was This My First Time At This Event?
The Course was 8 kilometres of grassland, muddy trails, water crossings and a tiny portion of hard surfaces (around 1%).
The water varies from shin depth to waist depth, or deeper if you are vertically challenged.
The course is by most OCR standards hilly coming in at around 130 meters of elevation or approximately 40 flights of muddy stairs per lap.
There were around 40 obstacles, mainly logs, fences and jumps designed for the slightly taller equine competitor, not the average hominid.
- Value For Money
- The Pros
- The marshalls were super friendly and encouraging, plus they had a smorgasbord of treats to keep you going. Water, cordial, cola, the obligatory jelly babies, crisps and homemade flapjack (so good it warranted the entrance fee)
- Free Parking
- Free Cake
- The Cons
- No Changing Facilities
- Limited food choices (for a fussy vegetarian)
- There's a 'Field Shower' available to competitors in the car park. Okay, it's a hosepipe.
- The Aylesford Equine X Country Course, Aylesford Farm, Shoby, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 3PF
Booking The Event
- How far In Advance Did I Book?
- 3 months before
- What Discount Did I get?
- Up to 10%
- How Easy Was It To Book?
The Event Arena / Village
- Rate The Event Arena
- Rate The Buzz Around The Event Arena
- Rate The Food And Drink Stalls
The Event Facilities
- Rate The Parking
- Rate The Toilets
- Rate The Showers
- Was There A Bag Drop?
- Was There A Changing Tent?
- Rate The Medal
- Rate The Swag Bag
- Rate The Marshalls
- Rate The Course Marking
- Rate The Course Buzz
- Was The Event Timed?
- Was There Water On The Course?
- Did I Need To Be Able To Swim?
- Where There Bouyancy Aids Available?
- What Was The Maximum Depth Of The Water?
- Between 1 And 2 Metres
- Types Of Terrain On The Course?
- Water Crossing
- Natural Obstacles
- Man Made Obstacles
- Rate The Quality Of The Obstacles
- How Many Obstacles Where There?
- Rate The Creativity Of The Obstacles
- Where There Any Compulsory Obstacles?
- What Was The Standard Of Mud?
- Where There Any High Obstacles?
- What Types Of Carries Where There?