The Grizzly

Hello all, I am doing the grizzly in 12 weeks and am trying to find a fitting program for it.

For those who dont know it, its a 20 mile cross country race in dorset. The problem is because the distance and terrain are not common I cant find an actual training program.

Can anyone point me in the right direction or even advise me?



  • Hi Mark,

    I have done the Grizzly and what a great experience it was. Absolutely fantastic as long as you like, mud up to your knee's (if you're lucky), off road running, lots of big hills, water, shingle beaches, bog and totally upredictable weather conditions!

    So bearing all of that in mind I would suggest you get off road as much as possible and build up your long runs there. Try to train over some serious hills too.

    A lot of people found the shingle beach running really tough, we ran across this 3 times when I did it. I didn't bother me but then I never seem to fit in with the norm! So if you can find some big stones to run over it might be worth it. Or at least try to toughen up your feet somehow as they do take an absolute bashing. I was awoken after the Grizzly with the most awful shock pains running through the soles of my feet as they had simply been bashed to high heaven.

    And prepare for the weather if you can. So make sure you have a enough layers if needs be and gloves, a hat and a decent jacket as it can blow a right hooley up on the cliff tops and if it rains it can get really really cold. Many people wear off road shoe's but I just wore trail shoes and I was fine with those.

    But what a fanstastic event the Grizzly is! The organisers put up all these weird, whacky and inspirational signs all over the course that will make you smile. The atmosphere betweeen runners is really great and friendly. The bog is hilarious as someone is sure to be sinking, the views are awesome and the people that support it all are lovely and offer sweets en route.

    Because it is an off road event it is difficult as you say to find a training plan to follow and of course the marathon ones are based for road running, but running off road takes much longer. I was marathon training when I did the Grizzly but I was doing a lot of my longer runs off road on Dartmoor. Perhaps you could do that? From memory I think I only did about 15 miles off road as my longest run before Grizzly.

    One last thing that I found was that fuelling is really important. So find out what you like and practice training with it. I used energy bars for the Grizzly and had a really great run.

    You're going to love it!


  • Ah thanks for the advice scooby I will take it on board it sounds like sound advice.

  • Mark, I'm doing the Grizzly as well and plan to do the Broadclyst Bimble (see But have also been told to practice running on the beach there (about 20 miles away for me so not too far to go for a run).
  • Most important of all - the Grizzly is in Devon! You don't want to go to the wrong county & miss the race...

    As WS says, you could do worse than run the Bimble - good training for the mud. You'll also need lots of hill training and long long runs (as in marathon training). If you can get to some shingle beaches, run a few miles on those as well.

    But however you train for it, just go & enjoy it. One of the country's best events.
  • Having done it a few times, I'd say get some hills in and the long runs. If you wear trail shoes you don't need to worry about the terrain - where you would slip you'll do it in anything!
    Agree about the layers (last year was a little breezy).
    Turn up and enjoy!
  • Bad News from Axe Valley Runners (

    The Grizzly has unfortunately been postponed until Sunday 9th September.

    See you all then.
  • bugger I was really looking forward to it. oh well more time to train I guess.
Sign In or Register to comment.