Mighty Deerstalker Tunnel 2014 CROP

Mighty Deerstalker 2014 SMASHED

Posted on March 27, 2014 · Posted in General, Personal

The Daddy of Adventure Races Mighty Deerstalker

So if you’ve been following any of our posts recently, either on here or on our facebook page you may be interested to know how we at iCan Fitness got on. This year saw 8 of us take part in the Deerstalker, under the iCan Banner, double that of 2012, with some great performances. Eddy knocked an hour off last years time and I beating my target time. For the instructors at least, it was smiles all round.

Mighty Deerstalker 2014 Collage

Question is, how did the race pan out, were there any surprises and will we be back?

So, it was the evening of Saturday March 15th, myself and Eddy are at the start line ready to set of in the first wave. The others having registered later had only managed to gain entry into the second wave. Its 1740 with a start time of 1745 (second wave would set off at 1800), at this point I am just glad we had got there on time and registered, ready to go. Eddy had been quite ‘as per’ believing he knew a shorter route than the way we would normally take. Lets just say we came back the normal way!
Right now I am doing my normal lack of warm up while Eddy jumped around wasting energy. The first thing that hit me and gave me an instant good feeling was how warm and dry everything felt, certainly in comparison to the year before. Last year had been wet, cold and positively the most frightful conditions the Deerstalker had ever seen. This year, it was positively tropical. Standing in the middle of Scotland, with mountains rising up either side of us to a height of over 3000ft, on a late, overcast, winter evening and I actually felt I may have overdone it with a base layer! The conditions were PERFECT.

Eddy Dave Might Deerstalker 2014

10, 9, 8, 7, the countdown had begun, everyone around bellowing out as loudly as they could, 2, 1 a massive cheer and we were off.
Having squeezed ourselves near to the front, we got a good run at the first obstacle, a stack of 3 high hay bales, before veering round left and back on ourselves. You have about 1 mile on the flat before the first hill, it is at this point where the race really gets going.
Eddy was off, I, not so. Anyway, after struggling to find my pace on the first incline, I hit 3000ft and thought I need to make some ground up here, that first assent had not gone well. So I really put in the effort on the down hill. I am normally a little hesitant on the down hill but this year really went for it. I had a time to beat and possibly Eddy to catch!
I had no idea what time it was when I landed on the road after the first decent. Having dodged all the trees and wire on the way down, I was happy I had overtaken a few runners (some who I know are good runners) and made it injury free to the bottom. It was still daylight at this point. Mighty Deerstalker Woodland
Now it was time to change gear in the legs and running pattern and ready myself for a push along the flat. This can be hard to do, convincing yourself your legs have it in them and just to push on. At this point I also saw Eddy about 500ms ahead on the other side of a river having just crossed a bridge. A quick encouraging shout out, replied to with a quick raise of the arm and it was head down and charge time (I say charge, at this point I need you to remember I had just ran up and down a 3000ft mountain in about 40 minutes!). From here, you run, keep running, and then run a little further, until you get to everyones favourite, the waste high ice water. One of my particular favourite parts of the race where you get to slip all over the place while walking up a river, waste high in icy cold water. Slow and steady is the way. It does get a little frustrating when you see those running past you in this water, but satisfaction is fast restored when they go arse over tit a short way in front of you…
Exiting the water the head torch is now required, this also marks the start of the final assent. By now, very much on my mind is another one of everyones particular favourites, the scree climb. So after a few miles (remember this is billed as a 10km race, not sure how many few miles I can throw in here. Oh yeah quite a few because its 10miles) of undulating terrain, we are here. Looking up at the daunting task of clambering up 400ms of rocks on my hands and feet. Surely this year it wont be as bad as last? WRONG. I swear down it has got longer, our t shirts had said, run, walk, crawl, just keep moving and that was so so very appropriate for this part of the course. It was hard, as hard as any year before, in fact it felt harder but this was probably because I was pushing harder than past years. Then at last I was there, the TOP. It was all down hill from here, in the most positive way you can ever say that. However, I did have a bit of a question with one of the many stewards when faced with a cargo net to clamber under, ‘REALLY’. Do I actually need to clamber under this stupid little net after clambering up that! Anyway I did and then set of at speed, well the best I actually had, and pushed on for home.

Mighty Deerstalker Tunnel 2014

As I pushed on looking for markers I remembered, I was actually just chuffed this year to actually maintain my running, unlike last year, without feeling I was going to fall to bits. Then came the first smile on your face marker, the tunnel. This marked about a 1/2  mile from home and an all important photo opportunity. Taking time for a quick pose, it was bash on time and a quick ask for directions. ‘Follow the tiger’ one of the stewards said! Hold on, I thought I should be the one hallucinating? Ah but then I saw him, someone ahead, in a full tiger onesie, YES, someone ahead in fancy dress!!! I mean, come on, the race is hard enough as it is and someone is ahead of me in fancy dress! Well done mate, but I am off. At this point I should probably mention I had been having a long term battle with Elvis as we continuously used each other as pacemakers. He, however, insisted he was John Travolta. I didn’t really care who he was, as long as he didn’t step on my blue suede running shoes, I don’t want no Saturday night fever!



And then there it was, okay I walked a little before it, the FINISH LINE. I could see it, just a cargo net and 1 wall to clamber over. 1 wall! There were 3 last year and I only bloody walked a bit to save myself for this. Damn it. Oh well, bash on, I have a time to beat.

FINISHED, I had finished, no sign of Eddy but I had finished.

Eddy Mighty Deerstalker 2014Dave II Mighty Deerstalker 2014
I was just removing my timing chip, and while striking up a quick conversation with another competitor, he assured me I had finished around the 1:40:00 mark. If this was the case, this was excellent. It was also then that Eddy gave me a shout. He thought he had finished about 5 minutes ahead. That would probably be right, as most of our races are split by about the same time. To be fair, I’m 12 years his senior. If only I had managed to trip him at the beginning I may not have had to say that!

I was chuffed, happy and looking like a pig in shit. I didn’t know my official time at this point but was confident and most of all, it showed that all the training we had done had worked.

Satisfaction guaranteed #BeMore

Official times

Eddy Thompson 1:37:54 – 43rd position
David Atkins 1:42:41 – 72nd position
Andrew Fox 2:04:17 – 301st position (first year)
William Weir 2:16:10 – 473rd position (first year)
Catherine Bowman 2:24:14 – 567th position
Sarah Dodds 2:45:42 – 603rd position
Jenny Marshall 3:04:29 – 1040th position
Edith Potts 3:19:58 – 1198th position (first year)