The Brooks HellRunner - Hell Up North Saturday

Just signed up for this year on the Saturday after doing hell up north 2010, be good to see what the difference the weather makes as it's now in September this year as it was rather cold last year but still had a great day.
Anyone in the Manchester running this year?
If your thinking of doing this race and it's your first time do it, it was mine last year and i don't regret it one bit.


  • Well they didn't break me in Hell In The Middle, so I'll give them a second try in Hell Up North.
  • Did Hell in the Middle, enjoyed it, decent sub 2 hour time, managed not to get the car blocked in but had no idea what the loudspeaker announcements were saying.  Did any one notice that it was a massed start rather than in two waves?

    Really good though and am going to enter the other two events in the next week or so.

  • I am doing my first Marathon in Chester on the 9th October and am seriously considering doing the Hell up North which is 4 weeks prior to the marathon but am worried about whether it would interfere with my schedule or be cause of an injury.

    Has anyone had any problems?

    Would anyone recommend or deter me from running this prior to the Marathon?


  • Hi,

    Fairly similar, doing my first marathon at the Eden Project, Cornwall in October.  Did the Hell in The Middle earlier in the year, thoroughly enjoyed it so entered the South and North events.  Personally I had no problems.  There as ever will be the risk of injury as the event is all off road.  The Middle event was on forest tracks and through muddy pools which I guess is pretty much standard across the board.  I would recommend it if you want to run in a hard off road event.  Dont think PBs come into it but as a 1.45ish half marathon runner I was happy with a sub 2 hour (just) time. 


  • I did both Hell up North and Hell in the Middle last year.

    Hell up North was a bit of a dissapointment as it wasn't very hilly, only one big hill in the beginning, quite short race and the parking was an absolutely dissaster! Way too many participants as they had arranged two races on the same day, on in the morning and one in the afternoon. The two races combinied made the total to 3000 runners and this year they are going for 2500runners...hmmm same parking chaos again maybe??

    Hell in the Middle was much better! Very tough course with endless amount of hills. Parking was good. As previous stated I couldn't hear anything from the announcements as the loudspeakers were of very poor quality and the man was just shooting in the microphone.

    Fun race but a bit pricey!

  • Alan,
    Im doing this run and the Chester marathon. Shouldnt interfere with your schedule, just do it instead of your long run. Injury wise, yes its off road and may be slippy but ive done it for 3 years and ive never been injured nor ever seen anyone seriously injure themselves. If i was you I would enter it. Keep running in Delamere on a Tuesday and you'll fly it image If you dont want to do it for yourself, do it for Sparta!!!!
  • Thanks for your replies and sorry for not acknowledging them sooner.

     I am seriously considering doing the Hell Run which over two days this year which should alleviate the parking difficulties experienced last year. 

    This will probably also mean the course will be longer than last year but no details on this as yet.

     Yes Paul the Spartans Tuesday sessions are helping.

    For those that live near Delamere Forest there is a new running group called the Delamere Spartans. They  run on a Tuesday evening with other impromptu runs are also available -

  • I Have done hell up north & hell in the middle, two very different races hell up north is a lot more muddy while hell in the middle is hill after hill after hill, but basically all the hellrunner events are in my opinion excellent image

    If anyone fancies a warm up to hellrunner I am the race director for a midweek race taking place in Delamere forest on Wednesday 17th August 2011 at 7pm Delamere forest "MIDWEEK MADNESS" 10k we have a certified 10km single lap course and the event is chip timed and all runners will recieve a bespoke medal & mug for the effortsimage

    All runners will also recieve a free parking pass.

    And the best part is it is reasonably priced £15/£17

    Have a look at THE BUG RUNS SITE for details of how to enter!

    Also this event features in the runnersworld magazine as one of the top 5 to try image

  • gutted I've only just heard about the midweek madness, that sounds like a good one!

    Seriously considering the hellrunner up north, I've been running since about january and I've done the Manc 10k and usually run 5k in around 25mins and 10k in 55ish.

    Does that soud like a reasonable enough leve of fitness to do it?! I have run 15k before in around 1hr 20 but it's all been on road...

  • Anyone know if its exactly the same course as last year? I was disapointed that it was only 9 miles when the website stated 10-12!  Still a good event though, I'm tempted again...

    I'm doing the Liverpool Marathon so will probably do 18-20 on the Saturday & use Hellrunner as my recovery run on the Sunday!!!

  • ive opted to put the hell up north in as my training schedule for the Chester marathon. Done last year and loved it. this year doing it again, but in fancy dress.image oh and boy what an outfit they have gotten me.
  • Have just signed up for the Hellrunner up North for Saturday!... really looking forward to it!... Have opted for the second wave ( non-competitive apparently ).. so hopefully will be able to enjoy it a little more! Running the Great North run in 2 weeks, so will be taking it relatively easy...

    Any tips or advice for me?.....image

  • Hi Connor I am running the sunday morning hell runner and also the north run, I did hell runner last november and was very cold and muddy my tips would be plenty of babywipes unless you wanna go home looking like a swamp monster, trial trainers if you have some the more grip on the sole the better as the hills are steep and wet,make sure your shoes are fastened on tight as possible I seen a few people with only one shoe last after only a mile inn and shorts and t-shirt will be fine I wouldn't wear anything else as gets wet and heavy.
    Have you done great north run before? My first time this year looking for tips my self regarding where I should leave family can they get from the start to end before I finish?
  • Hell is great - thanks for tips!... still looking forward to it despite the weather!... unfortunately I don't have a pair of trail runners so it looks like I'll be slipping and sliding!!!

    It will be my first Great North Run as well, so can't realy offer any advice or tips! Again, looking forward to it,should be a great experience!..

  • Have signed up for this for the sunday - 2 days to go - did anyone carry water gels early in advance should I get it a long walk from parking?

     Any other tips would be grateful...had to miss hell down south last year because of chest infection, hoping to make this one...

  • Caroline - I've done the last two and I'm looking forward to this year. 09 I used a gel and jelly babies, last year was much shorter so I didn't miss having a gel. Longer distance again this year so I'll be taking gel. Parking's about 10-15 mins walk from start area. I'd aim to get to the parking area about 40 mins before start time so u don't have to rush and can enjoy the atmosphere. H-U-N is great fun, there's a steep hill immediately out of the start (straight up and back down), thereafter not too hilly, but quite muddy with lots of enjoyable single-file trail and some fire roads. Hope u enjoy it.

  • thx that's great help - do many people carry water?

  • Hi Caroline - I did it today and thoroughly enjoyed it. There's was only one water station at roughly half way (although I'm sure it was further than that!)I didn't see many carrying water bottles etc.. I got there this morning around 9:30 and there was loads of time - car parks about 15mins away. Don't wear anything you'd like to wear again as it'll get very dirty, I actually threw all my kit away (including shoes - I did wear some old ones in anticipation!!) as cleaning it would be pointless!!! I'm also glad I left my watch at home as my hands went in the bogs a few times!! Enjoy - I sure did!!!
  • I did this yesterday and had so much fun!!  Its not coming up on the events search so I cant leave a review but its probably the most fun ive ever had at a race image Flithy just about covers the state of me afterwards -  I wore old shoes which went straight into the bin.....

    Would absolutely recommend this event!!! image

  • Does anyone who did the Saturday run with a Garmin have the TCX file uploaded? Wouldn't mind stealing it if possible. I wasn't brave enough to take my watch, went face down in a bog last year and I feared a repeat!

    Great event this year, much better organised and longer too. Parking arrangements were better, started on time and lovely weather too! They did the right thing having the two races on different days.

    Good luck to everyone doing it today!
  • Well organised race as usual. I was the idiot in a mankini both days. 1:53 today which I was pleased with!
  • Great race again, longer than last year (good thing) parking alot better no getting stuck in the mud haha, ran today in 1:35 anyone an idea how long it was?
  • Had a great time! It was a lot harder than last year! I've been told it was between 11 and 12miles this year.

    To all first time Great North Runners - if your families watch the start they will be lucky to get to finish before you. They'll have a chance if you are a slow fun runner but no chance if you are you're a good runner. I'm about a 2hour runner and even at that pace they probably will spend all 2hours fighting their way to the end and won,t see any of the finish.

    My family stand at the roundabout at the top of the hill just before mile 12. They have a great day (theres a pub nearby!!) watching the elites through to the fun runners. When I've finished I get my bag from the baggage bus and make my way to them. Its so much simpler and we all enjoy it instead of fighting with crowds.

    Hope that helps image !!!!

  • Chris - you were hard to miss! Dear god, how did you get the mud out?!!! image
  • It was 18km dead on my garmin i was round in 1.20 today. i think i still have mud in my eyes!
  • 18km is about 10.8 or 10.9 miles? the results are up on racetiming systems website now but the pace is off because they are calculated based on it being 10 miles i think? garmin says 4.29 per k.
    How much fun was the bog of doom!!!!!????!!!!!???

  • Well done mankini man!!! Husband tried to get your pic in bog but you ducked!!  

    Stewards said race was nearer 13 miles today - there were a lot of random straight down straight up straight down straight ups today..not sure if gps picks that garmin struggles...

    Bog was awesome - mud glorious mud but not as deep as expected and in general run less muddy than expected - guess would be different  in November, but least no ice to break...

    Fantastic day loved it!!! and met some lovely people to chat to along the way - another of my 50 by 50 to mark off - marathon next!!

  • My Garmin clocked 11.24 miles, with total 1,343 ft climb.

    Why throw kit away? This was my 5th year of HellRunner and the only thing I've had to ditch has been a devil's tail. Shoes, shorts, socks and top can all be hosed/showered then clothes (not shoes) stuck in the washing machine. It all comes out fine.

    Yes, this was very well organised - by far the best at Delamere in my opinion.

  • I soaked my trainers then they went in short cold wash in machine - are sitting stuffed with newspapers looking at me... Adidas trail shoes - am hoping they will survive...everything else washed fine too! white socks slightly grey tho

    thought event was great - could have done with another hose pipe tho  image 

  • Another cracking Hell Runner!

    Hadn't planned on entering due to doubt over fitness but won a place in a competition through Original Source which was a bonus!!.. Only found out just over a week before though... amount of training done=2 days! ha ha..

     Thoroughly enjoyed it as i went around with a view to just completing it rather than trying to race around like previous years.

    Organisation was great as usual!.. Course was as challenging as ever!.

    Another great Hell Runner event and a good t-shirt and goodie bag at the end!.

    Would do Hell Down South this weekend if i wasnt busy image...

    Can't wait for next year!

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