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My Grim Blog

My name is Richard Stacey and I recently completed my second Grim Challenge. The Grim Challenge,, is an 8 mile run organised by Macmillan Cancer Research through Aldershot Military Tank Testing Range. All proceeds go to Macmillan. The course is designed to put the Tanks through every type of extreme terrain they would face in a war environment. This will ranges from hills, valleys, sand, mud, rivers, chest deep pools of water and swamps of sorts. It’s horrible.

The Grim has historically been a 7km run for the last 10 years. When I decided to challenge myself physically last year it was as a personal goal as I’ve never run 7kms in my life.  I knew the event was coming so I signed up and started mentally preparing myself for the training ahead. What I had missed when I signed up was in celebration of this being the 10th year of the Grim, they had increased it to 8miles. As the miles had increased my ‘friends’ who had agreed to run it with me decreased. So at 10am on the 1st of December in  -1.0C I completed the Grim Challenge in 1hr 25mins and 5secs. Considering I had just wanted to finish and aimed for 2hrs, I went home a very proud man.

The Grim Night Terror is an 8mile run that starts at 7pm and covers the same terrain, with a slightly different layout, but it is essentially in the pitch dark. On this occasion I actually managed to goad a friend of mine, Tom Everard, into accompanying me on the run.

I had a very stringent training plan in place as I was very keen to beat my time from the Grim previous but this training plan was ruined by the Noro Virus and a chest infection.  I can safely say my training regime consisted of 3 weeks of, 1 day on 1 day off, various sprint interval training, crossfit  and cross training.

As part of my preparation I decided to get sponsorship for a charity very close to my heart,  CLIC Sargent.  CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children, young people, and their families. It provides clinical, practical and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life. For more information, please visit

All prepared and with one week to go the snow came and fell and fell and fell.  The day before The Grim Night Terror they posted pictures of the course, its not exactly inspiring when they do something like this the day before but all Grimlings know what they’re letting themselves in for.

The night before the Grim Night Terror the rain came and it fell and fell and fell however on the day the sun showed itself for the first time in a while. It’s difficult to explain the feelings on the day, watching what you eat, feeling nervous, excited, scared. I prefer the day Grim as there is no waiting around. Its wake up and Run.

At 5pm I had my ‘athlete’s dinner’ of brown pasta and cheese, with some tomato ketchup. I followed that with a banana and went to pick up Tom.

It was funny seeing Tom as he had that same nervous panic look I had when I did my first Grim Original. It’s that feeling of doing something you have never done before, not knowing how it will go, not knowing if it’s even achievable. People should really do it more often or at least give it a go once.

It was 6.5degrees on the night but the water was still frozen and the rain came again followed by the wind.  At 7pm the race began and Tom and I set off together with our headlamps on. Compared to the Grim Original the terrain was pretty bad and at points it was hard to get traction. The water was as cold as before and the floating lumps of ice left some pretty nasty bruises. However, we completed the race and even managed a sprint finish!!

So on the 26th of January 2013 I completed the Grim Night Terror, raising £555 for CLIC Sargent,  in 1hr 16mins and 44 secs. 3/100ths of a second faster than Tom, sorry buddy had to do it!!!

I am once again a very proud man and will continue to put myself through various challenges as this year continues. I officially have the bug for it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.