On the 22nd February 2020 it was time for both the Maverick and Tribe families to rejoin forces once more, run free and raise funds for the Tribe Freedom Foundation. A UK registered charity established in 2017 to raise funds to fight modern slavery and end human trafficking.
Following the weather conditions that we have had of late and with over 600 runners taking part, the writing was on the wall for this to be one hell of an event. Pre race pictures posted on social media by the race organisers following the course lay the day before, showed what could only be described as a mud fest in waiting.
This race was going to challenge everyone and it was inevitable that even the most seasoned trail runners would find it at times energy zapping.
As per usual three distances were on offer to suit all abilities of runner. And all were destined to hit what appeared to be the never ending hill towards the end (1km of climb). There was no getting away from this for any of the runners this time around.
As usual I arrived early to give a helping hand and I made sure that I stayed well away from the beer. I didn’t want to make the same mistake as last time and I don’t mean I drank it all.
Pre race vibes started to pick up and as the start time drew closer, those running started to emerge out of hiding (mainly due to the weather conditions being less than favourable) in readiness for a pre race warm up delivered by one of the Tribe ambassadors.
The safety brief was then delivered by the maverick race director, emphasising runners should follow the blue signage only and not the orange markers, unless of course they wanted to go and do a bit of train spotting instead at the local train station.
And then we were off.
For me it was time to take on 22kms of mud, mud and more mud, have fun and fully enjoy what was on offer. Before I knew it, I was lost within my own thoughts. Winding my way through the trails and tackling the ups and downs of Hollycombe Forest and surrounding area situated within the stunning South Downs National Park.
For sure, as predicted this was a very dirty affair, wading at times through knee deep energy absorbing cold mud. Hills that challenged you and the odd flat section that allowed the heart rate and breathing to get back to somewhere close to normal.
Two outpost with the usual selection of sugary sweets, fruit and energy drinks were made available for those on the long route, sharing the first outpost with the middle distance runners. Those on the short course had no such luxury until they crossed the finish line.
Half way through, the rain clouds departed and the maverick sun gods decided to make an appearance. Better late than never I suppose. This however meant that once the finish line was crossed, runners would not be vacating the race village in a hurry due to being cold.
As I crossed the finish line, race bling, beer, protein bars and ice coffee was collected, it was then time to order pizza, get changed, sit back and relax by the camp fires whilst catching up with everyone on what was a remarkable adventure once again with Maverick Race and the Tribe Freedom Foundation.
It’s quite something when a community of trail runners come together and raise over £10,000 for a remarkable cause in just one mud fest single running adventure!
Until next time …..