Brutal run events are trail running events that focus on using natural terrain and obstacles. Differing from some other runs, they don't use artificial obstacles or gimmicks to create their challenging runs. With events held in several venues, the runs traverse through mud and water and over hills, often making use of military training areas. As well as their regular runs, they often include a free kids course at their events so children can have a go, plus they offer free training events throughout the year. Races are chip timed, with a unique medal for each event and other perks too.
What Makes Brutal Run Different?
Brutal Run events are based on the idea of using natural obstacles, making use of the off-road terrain. While many obstacle courses and mud runs feature created obstacles and a carefully-cultivated course, a Brutal Run takes you through the countryside and makes the most of the natural surroundings. Brutal offers races of different lengths that are also suitable for different ages. 5K races have a minimum age of 10 with an adult or 13 when unaccompanied, while 8K or 10K races have an age restriction of 13, and runners must be at least 16 to participate in the 16K or 21K races.
Each event provides a range of amenities, including affordable food and drink options and portaloos on-site, as well as water stations and post-race refreshments.
How Brutal Run Got Started
Brutal Run had its beginnings in 2009. It was founded by three ex-military guys who wanted to create a different trail running event that made the most of available terrain. The company aims to put on around eight events each year, offering runners plenty of chances to participate. Events usually offer a couple of different options for running, so participants can choose to run the distance that they prefer.
Where Do Brutal Run Events Take Place?
As they often use military training areas, the events sometimes take place on MOD land. The venues are usually in Hampshire or in other nearby counties, such as Surrey or Berkshire. For upcoming events, Brutal Run has had to consider some new venues due to restrictions in place because of COVID-19. Although the events take place outdoors, which helps to minimise risk, the MOD and other authorities, such as Forestry England, have made restrictions that have meant that planned venues can no longer be used.
In the past, Brutal Run events have taken place at Longmoor, near Liss in Hampshire, Hawley Lake in Camberley, Surrey, and Alice Holt Forest in Hampshire, among other venues. An upcoming event in November 2020 has been relocated to Holywell Estate in Swanmore, Hampshire. It will offer a 5K loop, with the option to run the course twice for anyone who wants more of a challenge.
How Many Brutal Run Events Are There Each Year?
Brutal Run aims to put on around eight events each year. In 2019, they put on exactly eight events, which included a 10th-anniversary special race and a Halloween event. There has been some disruption in 2020 due to COVID-19, although there were events held earlier in the year. Some events have been cancelled, but there will still be races in November and potentially December too. Brutal Run has a full eight events planned for 2021, with locations including Bagshot in Surrey, Pyestock in Hampshire, and Spider Hill in Aldershot, Hampshire.
What Happens During a Brutal Run Event
After booking onto a Brutal Run event, you receive information about the run. On the Friday before the race, a final pre-event email is sent out with key details. Event parking is organised close to the site, and they have a key drop in operation so that you can place your car keys in safe hands. If you don't have a car with you, they will also look after your bag for you during the race. Everything is well-organised, making it easy to collect numbers and timing chips.
Usually, all runners would begin at the same time, with courses designed to allow runners to spread out. However, due to social distancing rules, there are currently several start times, which are booked when registering for the event. Runners are given a time to turn up for registration, depending on their start time.
Anyone taking part in a Brutal Run event can expect to traverse a range of terrain. A course can start off on tarmac but quickly move through grass, sand, mud, and other ground. The races are certainly a challenge, even for experienced runners, of which you will see plenty at Brutal Run events. Courses might begin to start off feeling fairly standard for those who are experienced, but it can quickly become more challenging as the run continues. With a choice of distances to run at most events, runners can decide how much of a challenge they want to take on. You can find yourself wading through a very wet bog or a stream, running over sand, scrambling up steep hills, and much more. Anyone looking for a real challenge can find what they're looking for at one of Brutal Run's races.
The venue features water stations and refreshments after the race. Hot food and drink are provided by a caterer, for a price, plus there are sometimes other vendors at the events too.
Brutal Run Race Results
Brutal Run events use chip tracking to track times for their trail runs. All of the results are put online, using Athlinks, where you can view results from 2019 and 2020 races. You can view race times, distance, and split times for different sections of the run. Photos are also available by clicking through to the race results. Some earlier results can also be viewed at race-results.info.
Brutal Run has a coveted "Gold Medal" available. It's given to people who complete any of the five events out of eight across the year, plus the Longmoor run in December (for a total of six events) where they give out the medals.