I hope this is the last time this winter that I'm posting run photos featuring snow and ice. These here taken on an "easy" run from Foulridge to the Nelson shop last Saturday morning prior to doing a shift on the coal face for a change. I prefer to have saturdays off but it's always great to be in the shop and discussing the running aims and needs of todays runner who so often gives this old timer a modern view of the sport. Not that I always agree with some of the things said!
Returning to Saturday in the shop one of the shoe sales was a bit problematic as the young male customer wanted a shoe for the "TOUGH GUY". An event which I've been aware of since it's inception by in 1987 by Billy (Mr. Mouse) Wilson but never remotely considered "running". Possibly this description put me off....
Taking place at the end of January, often in freezing winter conditions, the Tough Guy race is staged over a course of between seven and eight miles (about 12 kilometres). It consists of a cross-country run followed by an assault course, claimed to be tougher than any other worldwide, featuring 25 obstacles, including a slalom run up and down a hill, ditches, jumps, freezing water pools, fire pits and so on (see detail below). The organizers claim that running the course involves risking barbed wire, cuts, scrapes, burns, dehydration, hypothermia, acrophobia, claustrophobia, electric shocks, sprains, twists, joint dislocation and broken bones.
The young man admitted when questioned that he was largely responding to peer pressure in doing it. His wife was certainly not very enthusiastic about his decision; probably thinking that the £80 he had paid to enter (plus expenses on the day,of course) could no doubt have been put to much better use.
The event has spawned other similar events of course. In fact Billy Wilson sued the partners of one such event and was awarded £450,000. A fact which highlights how wealthy his rivals are and underlines how popular his and the copycat events are.
But runners have died competing in half marathons and marathons ,haven't they?
It could be suggested the risk of a "tough" event is no greater. But I'm not buying that and I won't be buying an entry for the TOUGH GUY, the TOUGH MUDDER, or the TOUGH WARRIOR anytime soon!
PHOTOS COURTESY OF MICK HALL www.mickhall-photos.com
DISQUALIFIED FOR NOT WEARING A NUMBER?.........