Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's Good for the Heart to Wade in Icy Mud; Charity Will Gain from 811 Hardy Souls

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's Good for the Heart to Wade in Icy Mud; Charity Will Gain from 811 Hardy Souls

Article excerpt

Byline: Richard Fletcher

WADING through thick mud and slowly crawling through dark, dank, flooded tunnels might not be everyone's idea of Sunday morning fun.

These dedicated contestants howeveSr, just couldn't wait to get their hands dirty.

Hundreds of runners leapt into action for the North East's newest adventure race, the Newcastle 'Stampede'.

The event, held in aid of the British Heart Foundation, took place at Newcastle Racecourse, Gosforth Park. Competitors were faced with a 10k obstacle course designed by the Royal Marines, and jammed full of obstacles.

There were gullies filled with tyres, tunnels with icy water up to runners' necks, and a series of increasingly large hay bales to climb over, not to mention the thick, cloying mud that sucked trainers from runners' feet.

All 811 of the hardy souls who entered the race were given a red British Heart Foundation T-shirt to wear, not that you could tell as the mud-caked contestants and their smiling faces piled across the finish line.

The fun in the mud appeared to be a success when race organisers revealed afterwards half of next year's places had already been filled by applicants.

Runner Kevin Jeffress, 31, a window fitter from Seaham, County Durham, said: "It was brilliant. I've done 10k before but this was as much of a challenge as a marathon.

"The weather made it better. They had you doing something different every kilometre."

Steve Langley, 38, a teacher at Trinity School in Newcastle, said: "It was fantastic. There were tunnels and the water would be up to your knees then up to your neck.

"It was just for charity. I've got a friend who recently had a heart attack so it was just to help the people who helped them." Daniel Reed, 26, a PhD student at Northumbria University, said: "It was harder than I thought. …

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