Gregg and I are just back from having the pleasure of running 9 miles round Cannock Chase with 10 Stoke F.I.T. heroes in preparation for ‘Hell in the Middle’ in February.
We briefed them that it would be freezing cold, soaking wet, hard and hilly and we didn’t disappoint. What amazed both Gregg and myself was the amount of spirit, determination and teamwork that these guys put in from the first freezing soaking wet step up until the very last 9 miles after – Jenna even ran around in circles to make her mileage up to 9 miles!!
We did a stream crossing 3 times and some seriously hard hills! Each time an obstacle was put in front of us, they didn’t even change their stride they just attacked it! That’s what we love about the Stoke F.I.T. members – if we give them the choice of two; an easy or a hard option, they always chose the harder one and put everything they have into getting them selves and their team mates through it!!
The weather wasn’t as bad in Cannock as it was in Stoke so we had no fresh snow, and the recent rain had turned the existing snow into sludge and slush – perfect conditions for getting our feet wet from the offset!! With hills of over half a mile long and freezing cold icy water flowing down in streams, they demonstrated what they were made of by getting straight in and running through the streams, trudging through any available mud and sludge and smiling from start to finish.
Of all the 9 miles, the bit that impressed us both more than anything was the final assault on the killer hill at the end! A hill of about 500-600 metres finally found out what Stoke F.I.T. are all about when we all attacked it, some finding it harder than others, but the more able ones were at the side of their team mates all the way up with passionate and heartfelt words of encouragement which saw all 10 runners reach the top – all be it with calves that felt like they were going to explode! Well mine did anyway!!
Today has without a doubt got to be one of my proudest moments and I’m sure Gregg feels the same!! 9 miles is a ridiculously long distance to run, and 1 hour 55 minutes is a stupid amount of time to be out running for even the fittest of people, never mind to be doing it wet cold hurting and hungry!! From Gregg and myself, a massive massive well done to everybody who came and put them through hell!! Well done to Dickie Copner, James Lewis, Janice Lewis, Jenna Jones, Jo Aartse-Tuyn, Ken Wilson, Ray Wilson, Sami Munden-Griffiths, Victoria Prescott and Wayne Grocott.
A special welcome to our HQ landlady who opened up early so we had somewhere warm and dry to meet and have our briefing, and for putting some fantastic yummy hot food on for us for after 🙂
At the time of posting the Garmin website is down for maintenance but as soon as it is working I will post a link to our run here!
Well done guys!!
Frank & Gregg