Pieathlon 2016

Review by Alan Moore

The website description of ‘A 6 Km easy trail run/walk with feed stations every 2 kilometres, stocked with Pies’ didn’t turnout to be entirely true but for several reasons that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as our guest reviewer Alan found out.

It was Saturday night and I was preparing for Team OA’s annual Pieathlon the following day. 2 porkpies, 6 mince pies and a steak bake down the hatch I decide to call it a day, this last min preparation never works anyway. At least I knew my running was going to be up to it having run every day in December as part of #teambabycham challenge.

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Arriving at the venue just outside Huddersfield, which I must say was pretty easy to find, the designated car park was already full so I had to pop around to the second car park, but this was only 2 mins away so not a problem.

The quick and easy registration was in a school sports hall which was toasty and warm, unlike the temperature outside of 5 degrees with a chilling wind meaning nobody wanted to leave until the last minute. Especially me as I was bare chested dressed in my Spartan costume. With seconds to spare before the start I picked up my shield and made a dash for it, joining the rest of the runners in more traditional Christmas dress of Santa and elf suits.

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As we set off we made our way across the school playing fields where a local football match that was taking place and they seem to stop as 300 or so crazy people in fancy dress made their way passed.

Out of the field and onto the roads, we were almost at the first kilometre as we ran up a gentle incline before dropping down a short hill to the first pie station. Pork pie was on the menu, I ate mine steadily before setting off again.

This was the start of the off road section, first down a farm track before ascending up hill through some woods, across a golf course and then continuing through more woods till we reached the summit. We were met with some great views (check out the video below). What goes up must come down so the traverse down the hill side followed. The sticky muddy paths that were worn down and churned up by sheep, gave me an opportunity to overtake people (that’s not usually my style) thanks to my my footwear choice of my Icebugs.

After climbing over a few styles the descent increased in a variety of terrains before reaching the ‘bog of DOOOOOOM’. Well actually it was just a bog, but non the less it was a good 12 inch deep and very smelly!

Out of the bog and pie station number 2 was serving up mince pies. Licking the last of the sugar off my lips I set off again, ‘5km down and 1 to go’ I thought to myself. Oh how wrong was I?

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500m later and another pie station serving pork pies again then it was all uphill to the finish, however half way up there was yet another pie station and more mince pie. Last push up the road and turning right into the sports field and the finish was in sight.

Almost 7km with 250m of elevation (seemed more) and this Spartan had finished receiving a top class t-shirt for my efforts.

The pieathlon is a great event, personally I would have preferred more off road running but that’s just my preference. The mark of a good event is returning and yes I will be going back for more pies (and more hills) next year. I am also going to try their beerathlon and wineathlon which Quirky Races also plan to cover.

Check out Alan’s excellent video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0G-MaI-D1U4

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Author: Chris Lamb Racing Diary

I am an endurance based athlete participating in events from 800m on the track to ultra trail marathons & obstacle course races. I like to test my strengths over the widest range of events possible at the highest level I can. You can follow me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/chrislambpjr

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