Running is all about having fun and pushing limits as well as sometimes being about competition. Red Bull is definitely all about having fun and pushing limits and with their Steeplechase race they definitely know how to inject competition into a race. And freestak was delighted to be part of making the 2014 Red Bull Steeplechase a success.
What is the Steeplechase?
Red Bull have devised a fell race in the Peak District that involved running up to four legs between three churches (hence the Steeples). However there is a difference. At each of the three steeples, half of the field is cut out, which means that of the 500 runners who start only 40 will get to race the last leg back to the finish line. This means that the race is not simply a matter of running as hard as you can from start to finish – if you get past the first checkpoint, you need to run hard enough to make sure you are in the top half of the field to make it past the next checkpoint.
We were tasked with helping Red Bull recruit writers and journalists to come to the race. We took a group which included writers from The Sun, Run247, The Telegraph, Men’s Running, Shortlist and The Guardian. Our group of runners had a great night before the race in the hotel adjacent to the finish line, although they were all very sensible about making sure they were going to start the race the next day in fine form.
After jumping in the car to chase the pack of runners from the start, we started picking up a couple as they dropped out at check-points. In the end we were delighted that three of our six writers made it past the last checkpoint, thereby earning themselves the right to run the full 21 miles as well as a limited edition hooded top for the top 40 runners. They returned to the finish-line pub tired but elated to rejoin their fellow writers, who had all defied the hills and in some cases injuries to get a really good run in, for a BBQ and open bar laid on for all the runners by Red Bull.
All of the writers reported on the race, everyone saying that they really enjoyed the event as well as the unusual format of the race. We were delighted that quite a number came to the Like the Wind Pop-Up a few weeks later to swap tales of DOMS that went on and on and on. But one thing is clear – these writers are a competitive bunch and I suspect that we will have this group battling it out for honours at a race in the future. We just need to find the right one!