Newcomers and regulars alike were calm and relaxed throughout as they completed multiple laps at Tuesday’s (4 February) Polar Bear Challenge. Included in the post-race refreshments was a new Big Bear Pilsner for rehydration purposes after those miles.
Part of the Bear Series 2020 – the other two are the Panda Bear and Grizzly Bear Challenges - that involved running as many laps as possible within a 6-hour time limit starting at 9am. This was held at Ryton Pools Country Park in Warwickshire and on a mainly flat out and back course consisting of 3.3 mile loops. The weather was dry and windy rather than Arctic conditions as the title of this event might suggest and road shoes or even better, a light trail shoe was perfect for this terrain.
The choice of distance was left up to runners who completed 4 laps for a half marathon and 8 laps for a marathon and if time allowed several more for an ultra. However, opting for just over 5K was an option and there was a warm, convivial atmosphere with runners encouraging each other as they passed.
A well-stocked aid station helped with fuelling and hydration needs during the event and there was beer, cider, apple juice and flapjacks at the finish. The organisers, Big Bear Events cater for all dietary requirements and provided vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free alternatives.
Connor Rose completed the most laps – 12 in total and a distance of 39.6 miles.
Jayne Ford was the female winner, completing 10 laps that gave her a total distance of 33 miles.
Next in the Series is the Panda Bear Challenge on 26 June.