Helly Hansen Beauty and the Beast Half MarathonCorporate Communications Manager Kevin enjoys the 'beauty' and braves the 'beast in the inaugural Helly Hansen Beauty and the Beast
Saturday 22 2012Name: Kevin McDougall Age: 36 Occupation: Corporate Communications Manager Event: Helly Hansen ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Half Marathon Time 2.34.
Follow Kevin on Twitter:@kev_mcdougall How long have you been running? I picked up the running bug in my mid twenties. I use running as a way to de-stress and think things through. What made you decide to sign up for this race? My wife was doing it and I’ve never run an adventure race before. This had a half marathon option (three laps of the course), which I decided to do to kick start my training for the Brighton marathon next year. What were your expectations for the race? I knew this was going to be a tough one but I didn’t really train even though the word beast played on my mind a little. What were your high and low points during the race, if any? I thought as I hadn’t trained I would just turn up have a blast and not beat myself up about my time, which made it all rather enjoyable. The absolute high point was running down the hill overlooking the valley towards the end of each lap. The low point was tripping over a rabbit-hole, falling quite heavily and not being asked if I was OK by members of a London running club; I decided not to clap them when they crossed the finishing line. What was the best part of the course for you? The downhill was spectacular; I really enjoyed the way the course was split in to both sunny and shaded areas. The trail part in the shade was my favorite part. Reminded me of Rambo films. What was the most challenging part of the course for you? The ‘Beast’, turned out to be a giant hill at the end of the lap. I didn’t see anyone run this. Although the front runners may well have done. How would you describe the crowd support? The crowd support was concentrated around the start/finish line and it was nice to have. As you’d expect in a trail race there were very few people around the course.
What was the male/female ratio roughly in the race?Not sure. It was pretty even I’d say 60 /40 in favour of males.
Did you see many people running in costume, and if so what was the best costume?No, but saw a few people dressed as if they were going to run the Marathon de Sables rather then a trail run just outside Henley.
What’s your overall verdict of the race?Organisation: 9/10 It was fine, although I did have to queue in three different lanes to register as there was no signage. While this wasn’t a problem for me as I turned up early, it would have been annoying for those that turned up later. But it was the first time the race had been put on so I’m sure these glitches will be sorted for the next one. Scenery: 7/10 Lovely, you could even see a cricket match in action. The first part of each lap was a bit like running around school field but the second part of each lap more than made up for that. Other runners also saw deer running across the course. Atmosphere: 9/10 Great atmosphere, lots of relay teams, lots of serious runners with scrapes and bruises from tripping over tree roots and slipping down rabbit holes, and a nice sunny area with good conveniences at the start/finish line.
What one tip or piece of information would you like to pass on to anyone thinking of doing this race for the first time?It’s a great introduction to trail running but it is punishing. If you do enter, go find a big step grassy hill 3.5 miles away from your house, run to that hill and then run up the hill and run home again.
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