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Tobias Mews
Tobias Mews | The Black Death Run 2013
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The Black Death Run 2013

The Black Death Run 2013

When I was telling people that I was running the Black Death Run this weekend, I understandably got a few strange looks.  It doesn’t exactly have a name that inspires confidence, especially when to go on the website, you would find a lot of sculls and a grim reaper looking chap.

But when Zayne (long suffering GF) and I turned up this morning at Combe Sydenham Country Park for the 6th edition of this race, we knew that this was going to be a lot of fun.  And hard.  After all, we were in a valley with some very steep hills around us.

Having been at a wedding the night before, we were both suffering a bit – especially with a 6am wake up call after 4.5 hrs sleep.  If it wasn’t for the fact that I had a commission from Runner’s World to write about the race, we might well have ‘over slept’.

But we were very glad we didn’t, because it was brilliant.  The first 2 1/2 miles were uphill – which brought quite a few of the lead runners, myself included, to a walk on one or two occasions.  In fact, on the website, they state that only 3% of competitors actually run the entire course.  I can well believe it!

The rest of the course was up and down, up and down – relentlessly!  The hills weren’t super steep – but somehow did a brilliant job at sapping all the energy from your legs.

I was in the top 3 for the first few miles, but last night’s antics were catching up with me, as the champagne started to ooze from my body.  I slipped into 7th position, where I sat for a while, before clawing back a few places to be 5th overall.  I had  sprint finish with the 4th placed chap – if the course had been a bit longer, I would have had him.

Brilliantly organised, loads of smiling marshals, a cool skull candle thing for all finishers – it’s a race that I would love to do again.

Results are here.

Tobias Mews

Adventure Sports Journalist, Filmmaker and Athlete