Beauty and the Beast, what can I say about this event?
Well, let’s start at the beginning, for those who don’t know Beauty and the Beast is an off road running event over a choice of two distances, either half marathon or full marathon. The course is a lap of 4.4 miles in West Wycombe Park. Oh and did I mention it has some massive hills in it?
For me I chose the half marathon, so that was 3 laps. Now I should admit here, that I have done an event in the park before, I did the Hellrider here a couple of years ago, so I knew what the terrain was like.
There is one other factor that I like about this event, and that is that it is only a 10 minute drive from my house, super convenient!
The event started with a warm up run by Charlie Webster (of Sky Sports), she turns out to be a qualified running coach as well as easy on the eye.
Then we were off, it started on a hill and so the only way was up. The route was fantastic, the views of the countryside were stunning, and at my pace I had time to enjoy them.
Something I have noticed about off-road runs is that the other runners are so much more friendly than those you seem to meet doing road runs. I spent a lap or two running with some local guys, who were doing the full marathon, and they were telling me about their experience at the Mont Blanc Trail run and other assorted ultra runs. I have to be honest, I could be tempted to try a marathon and then an even longer one, but it would have to be an off-road run.
I will not hide the fact that this event was very tough, but the friendly runners made it fun and the organisation was brilliant, a stress free environment.
I could tell you about walking up the steep hills or wading through the water crossing, but I want to leave you with a sense of mystery and the thought that you might like to do it for yourself next time, I recommend it, you can do it solo (as I did) or as a rely team.
Go on you know you want to!