I did it! I completed my first ever 10 km event in one hour 39 minutes which is 20 minutes faster than I thought it was going to be.
Course itself had 20 or so obstacles over the 10km at a distance but I would say that probably half of them weren’t really obstacles just gone downhill hills to run up all fields to run around. Nearly end as I was running round yet another field it reminded me of being back in school and just how much I hated cross country running yet many years later I’m doing just that.
This event was much better organised than the other one is only for the inclusion of a DJ keeping the atmosphere going and being able to hear what time the waves started. there were quite a few food wagons on the site as well but they didn’t seem to be doing much in the way of business, no surprise really when they were charging for paying 4.50 for a bacon roll. But I suppose it depends on what they got charged for the pitch and other things.
I got there at 10:45 AM and believe me 1215 crept up on me in no time at all and after a brief warmup and the sound of the siren I was off. . When the announcement came over the tannoy the lake was closed I join the chorus of booing. “unfortunately” the lake was closed for swimming as the temperature is hovering about 2°. Something I would come to experience in a very short while.
As what seems to be the customary start to an event it’s a brief seven minute run followed by the first of many dunkings into freezing cold water.if you’ve ever seen Bog snorkelling imagine doing that for a kilometre.
After the trenches it’s time for another run on the next obstacle where walls. 6 foot of them and despite three weeks of training in the gym working on my upper body I couldn’t even lift myself up and over them. And yes, I did feel a little bit embarrassed to have to ask someone for help and of course it has to be one of the biggest blokes running the course who I then gave a leg up afterwards.
Next up, more running I’d find two people running at a similar pace to me and even though it wasn’t a race I just wanted to keep them in my eyeliner as they were the sort of girls you of C spend all of their time going to the gym in the week and then drinking alcopops and shagging around at the weekend. This was the plan but made all the more harder by the fact whenever I gained grimed on them we would come up to the obstacle and they would elect to run a rainy obstacle instead of actually doing it, kind of defeating the points of an obstacle course race.
As I cry came arrange one corner of yet another field I can hear screaming in the distance. Believe me that’s a very surreal experience to be running early afternoon and hear screams.
After 10 more minutes I found the source of the screens because we entered something like a forest but it wasn’t it just happened to be trees growing when I was mad, lots of mud, and incredible amount of mud, so much mud that’s African mud tribes wouldn’t know what to do with it. In short there was a lot of blood and your first introduction to it is a cargo net placed on top of said mud.
This is where the martial safety briefing part about having your trainers done up as tight as possible made sense.thankfully my 30 quid set of Trail trainers held up to the challenge even if I did run the last 5 km with grit in them.
Next up was a tire wall. Easy this one and it seems that I have a bit of an ability to climb up, climbing down however was a little more disastrous as getting halfway time I had a brainwave to jump on land on the bank. Scientifically wise the idea was perfect just a shame about the execution as I jumped back further than I thought I was going to and a fraction of a second later I was under the water which was only chest high and then absolutely covered. The say mud was in every orifice would not be an overstatement.
But at least the crowd enjoyed it and had a good laugh. The two really obnoxious girls had once again elected to run around this obstacle and keep going.
This was the most fun part of the course as they had dug trenches specifically to go up and down and everybody was covered and having a whale of a time. Next up, you guessed it, more running.
For the next kilometre or so we were running over there are very marshy type of land. my set was the third one of the day to go so everything had become pretty rocked up by this point but not as bad as I thought it was going to be.
And then we reached the lake. The marshals had thoughtfully roped off the entrance to the lake but had left the Rope game which you were supposed to use to pull yourself across. It’s also worth pointing out that there were no marshals at this particular hazard
White lemmings when one person enter the water so did many others including myself. I would guess it was about 100 m across but it might as well have been a mile. 2° water does have the effects on your body like every single survival program says it does. You’re okay for a few seconds and then very, very quickly the heat dreams from your body and you start to become really tired. This happened to me about a third of the way through and then realised, after looking around, there was no way out I just had to keep going.
After running 4 km, wading through the mark, I wasn’t in the best position to rely on an efficient swimming technique and at half way this is when I started to struggle. Keeping my head above water was pretty much all I can do as I inched closer to the bank.
it wasn’t a problem right up until the point she kept accidentally knocking my foot meaning I couldn’t kick out properly. My poor but somehow working swimming style was shot and all that was left to do was doggie paddle and hope.
To top it all off I got several mouthfuls of water and thinking that being just over halfway surely I should be able to touch the bottom I tried to put my feet again. Turns out it’s deeper than you think and I was momentarily submerged. That really took the laSt saps of energy from me so I dogbane for one quick push to try and grab the rope. The Rope never seem to appear until right at the last moments when I really needed it The ordeal of swimming across an open lake that was only 2° was just about over and as I hold myself up the bank of the other side I stripped my top off, after all that’s what they tell you to do in survival programs, and fist punched the air.
A couple of people attempted to swim and turned back, most elected to run around the lake. I did it and I’m proud to say I did every other obstacle.
This turned out to be the last of the major obstacles and then in the tradition of obstacle course racing it’s all about insurance and stamina.
Something I’ll cover in part two …