So, following the Fan Dance earlier this year I willingly signed up for the Paras 10 at Catterick. Once again running it as opposed to ‘tabbing’ it (Tactical Advance to Battle) in the P Company Challenge.
A generous Strider discount was provided (thanks very much) .
Today, 31st August, was the day. Early morning and 815am pick up for me and hubby (doing the load bearing version) by Major McGonnell and off we went. Lovely hot sunny day, well. Lovely if you weren’t planning on doing a 10 mile event either with or without a 35lb Bergen.
Registration was simple and quick, the timing chips were put on our shoes, the lads weighed their bergens in, Rob was 1lb short so the Para gave him a 1.5kg bag of porridge to make it up. Then we waited til 1045am for our briefing and warm up, which basically consisted of a Para making us all do a funny dance.
The cani-cross entrants went off first, followed after a couple of minutes by the runners (including me, Natalie Torbett and Laura Jackson) followed 10 minutes later by the tabbers (including Rob Lister, Tony McGonnell and Adam Chapman).
I knew there was 1 brutal hill around mile 8 but I didn’t realise the 8 miles getting there would be quite so ‘undulating’. It wasn’t long before the first of the tabbers overtook us slower runners and the Gurkha tabbers were phenomenal with their speed and determination.
The miles were clearly marked, the cattle grids (of which there were many) had sheets of wood partially covering them. There were 2 water stations, however I was pleased I had my camelbak on, it was very hot out there! And plenty of Paras marshalling.
Up and down, up and down we went then there it was ‘Pussy Hill in the Land of Nod’, at this point I was very close to the 1:50 man (under 1:50 is the selection time for the Paras), then there was a ‘last hill’ sign, get in! Almost there.
At last a lady shouted ‘just round the corner onto the grass then it’s the finish’ and it was, all of a sudden I could see the finishers funnel, big cheers from the spectators spurred me on to a sub 2 hour finish which I was really pleased with. Medal around my neck and goody bag in my hand I joined Marie to cheer the others in.
One by one they came round the corner, smiling, tired and sweaty but triumphant that we had all completed this tough challenge.
Fantastic event, well organised except the free for all at the race finish water point where people were taking 2 and 3 bottles without a though for other competitors, the coffee was rubbish too and no beer tent!
But, I will be signing up next year, for the P Company TAB Challenge…….