Today there is a whole plethora of obstacle course races around the UK. All offering a different experience for different ages and abilities. There is definitely a challenge out there for everyone.
I've always liked the idea of ticking this off my list. I wanted to complete one, but which? About two months ago a friend of mine approached a few of us and said about this new obstacle race. Designed by the man himself, Bear Grylls. Surely it's going to be good with his name slapped all over it. So seven of us decided to sign up for it. Then we looked into what we're going to do. Yes I know, wrong way round. I get very impulsive sometimes and we just booked it right there and then.
So what was the challenge. Three laps around a 10km circuit (18 miles total) which would include many obstacles. There was also six 'unique' survival tasks to complete spread out at the end of each lap. What these obstacles and challenges were we didn't know. This is the first time it's been run so no prior knowledge could be found online.
Training needed to ramp up! I've always kept myself fit but things needed to change. The last time I ran those distances was in my early army days. So more running, circuits and strength based training was needed. I was doing it all. I've always been good with self motivation so I didn't have a problem getting out for a ten mile run after work.
After a good six weeks of training I was feeling good. I felt ready. I hope the others were too. D day had arrived. We got the train up to north London and checked in. The atmosphere was great. Lots of people smiling, weather was perfect, live music. Let's do this!!!
After a warm up and a brief about the course we set off. Lots of war cries were heard. I was pretty certain I would not have that much energy in a few hours time. We followed the course and stuck together as a team and helped each other along. This was great for for team spirit and spurred us on to keep pushing hard. Some of the obstacles were cheeky. There were Jerry can carries, Bergen carry, rope climbs and monkey bars. We also had to make fire, shoot at targets and got tested on memory tasks. All of which were supposed to test survival attributes. Our results were recorded and time penalties were added for incomplete tasks.
After eighteen miles my legs were sore and tight. I really was running on empty. Still though, I had a smile on my face. Crossing that finish line as a team was great. I was with close friends and we all pushed ourselves and each other to complete this task. So easily we could have spent that Sunday at home sitting in front of the TV but we didn't. We got out there and challenged ourselves. And what a feeling that was. I'm sure this is the same feeling as completing any of the obstacle races on offer.
So my challenge for you is get yourself on one. It doesn't matter which one it is. Push yourself, train before hand and go for it. You will love it and feel a great sense of achievement.
This challenge has been part of my greater effort of continually looking for challenges to help raise money for charity. If you like what you've read and would like to support our efforts no matter how small a donation then I would greatly appreciate anything you can spare. Please click this link.
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