Lesley Pymm reports: Anyone who knows me will also know that the Grizzly is my favourite event of all time, and I am so gutted that my body just won’t let me do the full thing any more. The full event is about 20 miles of pebble beach, hills, bogs and great fun. There is music all the way round and the marshals and other supporters are fantastic. The good news is that there is a shorter version – the Cub run. If I am honest, I have to say that I don’t enjoy it as much as the full Griz and I am really envious of Pauline Wright who is able to do it. As we were approaching Seaton in East Devon, I realised that I wasn’t getting that sensation of anticipation and trepidation that I used to get with the full Grizzly as the Cub holds no fear for me.
The event starts on the front at Seaton and within yards everyone is running on pebbles and crunching their way towards the Yacht Club, which is the opposite direction to the one we should be going in! We get off the beach and then run through the Yacht Club and along the road past the start again and then uphill towards Beer. We used to be able to take a shorter road route here, but a landslide a few years ago put paid to that and so there is quite a long road section. We passed a steel band along the road and then eventually dropped down into Beer where the whole community was out to encourage us.
Through Beer and the caravan site and then onto the cliffs. I was amazed at how dry it was out there. There had been a lot of rain, but also a lot of wind, so it was very easy going. The only section on the Cub worth using the term ‘muddy’ about was a drop down towards Branscombe which is usually very muddy, this year it was just muddy! There was a woman running near me in road shoes and in normal conditions she would not have been able to stand up.
Onto Branscombe beach and through the river – and goodbye to the Grizzly runners as I turned east along the beach towards the Stairway to Heaven. It was very windy on the beach and quite hard going, as I turned off the beach and started the path up to the Stairway to Heaven, I went a bit giddy which I think was just a reaction to having run 1/4 mile in the wind and then it suddenly stopping. I trundled along the path and then eventually the steps up to the top and the cliff again.
Along the grass and bear round to the left and you can see the finish – it’s quite a way ahead still, but I did start to feel a bit disappointed that it was nearly over. .Back through the caravan site and a quick stop at the Grizzly Arms, a pop-up beer station supplied by Branscombe Brewery …. well, it would be rude not to. Back onto the road, trying not to burp with the beer.
Into Beer and the final steps uphill before heading along the coast path back to the road on the edge of Seaton. Lambs in the field and primroses in the hedgerows. Through a fairly new footpath in woods that has been put in to make life easier with the road closure following the landslip and then road all the way back to Jubilee Gardens in Seaton and then a run downhill to the finish.
The local fire fighters were there to hose people down but I didn’t need it. Those who had run the full Griz would have taken advantage of it.
I do love this event, but wish the shorter event was just a bit longer than the 9 miles that I ran.