The Cub Runner Who Went The Wrong Way

Terry Braverman

I may have created history.

I was a Cub runner who, reaching Branscombe beach, followed last year's chilly ritual of wading through the stretch of chilly water created in the sand and ... continuing right ... which was a pleasant surprise because last year I turned left after standing helplessly in the water and continued along an endless stretch of beach to an incalculable number of steps ...

I reached the 7 mile marker where, much to my surprise and despair, it became very muddy. More muddy then any muddiness I had ever seen before ... ever. The Bogs, I wailed inwardly. The LMR Bean is making the wee Cubs do the most scary part of the main event! I was stuck with both feet embedded two feet deep in another's footsteps of inhuman proportions. I was pushed, pulled and prodded by demented men and women shrieking "keep moving", "don't stop or you'll sink" and other encouraging comments.

Muddied, bruised and sore I reached an 8 mile marker wondering how, in the next few minutes, I was to find my way whingeing my way (sorry, winging my way) down to Seaton beach and the finishing line.

I spoke to a marshal who, smiling warmly, told me I was miles off-track with further, deeper bogs ahead of me. "Ho, ho." I laughed, even though it wasn't Christmas. Another half mile on and a friendly marshal took me on a long hike along beautiful forest paths to a Raynet vehicle. Its driver radioed for assistance and not long after a car arrived driven by the coastguard.

I asked if I could be taken back to the caravan park so that I could rejoin the runners making their way to the finish. These runners would be completing their course in under three and a half hours and so I received cheers from incredulous spectators as they watched me mixing it with the elite.

I completed the remaining two miles having run over ten miles in total and this including infamous bogland.

I was anxious to make the finish and the results knowing that my time and foolishness would affect nobody as I would, quite clearly and conclusively, be in last place.

Of course, I never had the pleasure of meeting the two backmarkers in the Cub Run. I hope to avoid that delight next year, too, but by more conventional means - for example, a psychological examination beforehand. I doubt anybody was more back-marked or arm-scratched than I.

So, yes, please, do keep me in the Cub Run results which should be my rightful place.

Has a Cub runner so clearly strayed from the path of Rightwayness before? Have I created an insignificant moment of history? Will next year's event be sub-titled "The Idiot's Return" or even "Return of the Idiots?"

© Terry Braverman, 2011