Wow... this was really a race unlike anything I have ever done before and nothing could have prepared me for what was to come on the 20ish mile run on the East Devon coast (and beyond). It is so popular that there is a ballot for entry and I was lucky (unlucky) enought to get a place.
Starting on Seaton Esplanade it seemed like the whole town was on hand to cheer us off on our way. The first mile was a loop around the pebbly beach which killed the legs before we'd even got started! It did mean we got to run along the esplanade twice so got double the cheers!
As we left Seaton, the climbing began. Up and then down into Beer where again the local crowd was fantastic. After running down through Beer we were then heading back up into the hills towards Branscombe. About 5 miles in we had a short run along the (pebbly) beach at Branscombe which included running through a man-made channel which was knee high with water. This is where I regretted wearing my Gortex trail shoes as once they filled up with water it took forever for them to drain so basically I had soaking feet for the next 15 miles which wasn't very pleasant.
Upon leaving Branscombe we left the coast behind and headed inland, up and down hills, through knee high bogs including climbing up hills that needed rope to help pull you up!
After 10 miles of hacking through the Devon mud we were back down to Branscombe via a local pub beer garden complete with live band. This was one of many musical interludes during the run which made the whole atmosphere quite special.
In Branscombe again, we had another mile long run on the energy sapping pebbles before climbing the "Stairway to Heaven" which was basically climbing a few hundred steps up a cliff face and is definitely not for the faint hearted! There were safety marshalls on the climb (with harnesses etc) but the best thing on this was a fella dressed as priest and preaching from a bible whilst offering everyone whiskey from his hip flask.
Unforunately the Stairway to Heaven was NOT the last climb. Again we ran down to Bere which meant we had to run up again to get back to finish on the Seaton Esplanade.
All in all this was a truly mind blowing and leg destroying event. 2017 was the 30th anniversary of the Grizzly (called "Pearl's a Stinger") and we got a very high quality technical t-shirt to commerate this.
I probably won't run it again in 2018 as it won't fit in my schedule but I would certainly run it again in the future.