Before I get to the main content of this blog post I would like to make one thing perfectly clear. Harvester is a pile of shit.
It’s one thing to pay above average prices for below average food. However after just one in 12 km three marshland on the Welsh hills any port in a storm.
It’s another thing to wait 20 minutes for your waitress to come over, 40 minutes for food, which is then served barely luke warm, i’ll then have to ensure a further 20 minutes of waiting to get a desert.
I kid you not I even spotted one of the waitresses cleaning some junk off a spoon using her thumb.
I wasn’t the only one appalled by how cold the food was being served to couple of other people complained around me.
Anyways my advice well it’s not good. If you have the chance go to a Frankie & Benny’s instead.
Other than that the day wasn’t too bad. I got to the obstacle course race at 10 AM I’m just about got to the start line on time.
It was only then I discovered I bought the wrong trainers. My k Swiss tubes have no met the Great Kenny Powers in the sky after heroically doing their best to get me through a 12 km run.
It’s a complete pain literally and figurative litre one in the wrong shoes. You have new grip going uphill, new group going down, and they aren’t designed to stay tied to your foot which is what you really need when you’re going across some precarious ledges.
They most certainly don’t help cushion the impact of running on my knees I injured trying to flip the hay bale the other day.
To be fair I have not had the best of preparations for this one. Yet another lapse in my running coupled with way too much alcohol from the previous three nights, little in the way of water to hydrate the day before and worst of all I forgot to have a cup of tea in the morning.
I put myself back at the rear end of the 10:30 AM starting wave as I knew I wasn’t going to be competitive. The second gone won’t it all went out of the window and it seems that my normal running speed sent quite a good pace for these things.
Obviously not good enough to keep up with the Trail run as he knew is the sort of things as a warm up to run up such things like Mount Snowden good enough but I was competitive with the types who obviously spend an obscene amount of time at the gym usually “doing weights”.
Thanks to Emma I have some good pictures knowing that I wasn’t too far behind the serious fitness freaks. As always the 1st to main obstacle is once around the lake, around the lake again this time carrying a log and then up and Down some stupidly hilly banks.
After lots it’s a nice bit of cross country running for the old dunk in a trench. So on and so forth. One thing I heard time after time is that a lot of people did this on the back of doing the moment running thing called tough Mudder UK.
People really weren’t prepared for the hills that were to come before them. I was fine open till about the 6 km mark which I then realised I have to do what I’ve already done again.
What makes this different to my normal running regime is the fact there is very little in the way of mile markers. See you never know quite how far you’ve gone or how far you’ve come.
From 6 km to 9 km was a nice bit of off-road running through the countryside, through nature trails a couple of steep banks and then you see it. The hill
By my reckoning it took six minutes of serious hard walking to get to the top. What’s worse than getting to the top is knowing you have to go back down and go out the next hill. Good news is that you do get a waterslide but slight problem with that is the event organisers where are touch overzealous with the fairy liquid.
It’s great fun going down the slide from a massive hill you’ve just conquered but not so much fun when you get half a bottle of fairy liquid in your eyes. I hope it was the stuff that guarantees to kill 99.9% of bacteria because after going through a couple of sewerage pipes I would be quite glad of this.
Other time kilometre mark my legs had given all they could give in to me is of muscle and strength. The last three banks I resorted pretty much to crawling up them on hands and knees.
My injured knee was starting to become quite uncomfortable. Any time on used my leg to push me up just didn’t feel comfortable so I ended up nursing it for the last 3 km.
How I wished I had done some sand bag lunges before this event.
The eleven k Mark there was a really cool rope net, I love the sort of things. My upperbody strength might not be the best it’s ever been at the moment but I flew up it.
The energy gel park I had taken back on the 6 km mark has now started to do its thing on for the last 2 km we had a bit of an adrenaline rush going.
The last but one obstacle was going through a small boggy like and it was here that I caught up with a substantial amount of people that had alluded me right from the start. It also turns out I caught up with some of the people who started in the 10am wave.
Just to point out events like these aren’t about beating people or having a faster time than anyone else. It’s the whole point about doing.
I spoke to a few people around the course and they said this was definitely a lot tougher than doing a tough Mudder which makes me think twice about entering them next year.
Anyway is the final obstacle was to cool in the summer electrified wire. Still on my adrenaline fuelled search I attack this one with a little bit too much gusto. I couldn’t call properly as my right knee simply wasn’t having any of it which meant that as my bottom went into the air and got teased by dangling bits of metal I had not seen. Electrified of course
Are yelled out “fuck” on then apologised to the audience who were watching. After that it was a quick jump over to rather small and weedy fire pits and I was done.
I thought a sensible time for me personally to aim for what is about two hours 35 minutes. To do a 12 km month/obstacle course race took me two hours 10 minutes approximately.
That should give you an idea of just how hard these things are. I did the great North run in two hours 15 on the Cardiff half marathon in two hours nine minutes 56 seconds.
I wish I could work out just how many calories I was burning or what my average heart rate was but there was no way I was going to wear my fit bit on an event like this.
If I hadn’t burner off 2000 cal I would be incredibly surprised.
Crossing the finishing line was amazing. The sergeant was there to hand out my incredibly hard earned own somewhat expensive metal, grab a free banana and Lucozade and that was that.
I am thinking I might do this event again next year but hopefully have a better level of fitness.
As I write this on the Monday my legs are actually too bad although my thigh muscles are crying out for a massage.
Both knees aren’t exactly keen on helping me stand up without the aid of my arms.
Normally the day after and event I’m absolutely ravenous but I’ve not felt like eating at all today.
More than likely post season races completed come down.