Warrior Run

The third and final race for March took place on another sunny day, along with my training partner Viki we were also joined by Phil Carrington, Garry Stapley and Rachel Poile to complete this 6km obstacle race located near Brighton.

Race Description

Viki, Phil and I had run this race before back in October, which was all of our first obstacle race. In October I had set a time of 1h9mins and my aim for the day was to beat this time, although I knew it was likely to be tougher this time round, as it was wetter, colder and they had added in more obstacles.

We arrived in plenty of time and got ourselves registered, this was fairly well organised into different heats and it was easy to get our race packs and timing chips sorted. Since we had some time we then headed back towards the cars to take a look at the main obstacle field.

Warrior run selfie while we wait to start with Phil Carrington, Viki Stapley, Garry Stapley and myself
Warrior run selfie while we wait to start with Phil Carrington, Viki Stapley, Garry Stapley and myself

 

 The Race

It’s fair to say that I was not feeling well this day, I had a stinking cold and if it hadn’t been for charity I would probably have dropped out, nevertheless I was excited at the start line, as I had really enjoyed this run back in October.

Right from the off we could tell they had changed the course a bit, it wasn’t straight into a stream this time, but the hurdles and then a clamber over the hay bails were the same although as a twist this time we also had to clamber over a truck!

Then as before it was a run up a hill, a log carry and onto a long stretch of running, this is where I realised how unwell I was feeling, I was feeling sick and worried that I would have to drop out – so I gave myself a mental shake, I told myself that this was for charity, I decided that it didn’t matter one bit if I beat my time or not, and that I just needed to get myself to the finish.

The log carry (Pictures from Sussex Sport Photography)
The log carry
(Pictures from Sussex Sport Photography)

There was a section through some woods, and a nice crawl through a wet muddy tunnel and some monkey bars to navigate (penalty press ups for me as I fell down!)

There was an added section through some pretty deep mud, up and down some muddy hills, and onto the obstacle field.

The obstacle field included several walls to get over, a high tire wall, a fire jump, rope clime (more press ups for me) some crawling and a wall to traverse.

The Tire Wall climb (Photos from Sussex Sport Photography)
The Tire Wall climb
(Photos from Sussex Sport Photography)

Then it some more hills, a pretty epic slide, more crawls and then another section of up and downs. There was a pretty shear bank to abseil down which was pretty scary, and then some deep water filled pits to jump in and climb out of, which I happened to reach at the same time as my hubby, so we got some great pic’s of us leaping together into the murky water.

Phil and I taking a leap into the unknown (Picture Courtesy of Sussex Sport Photography)
Phil and I taking a leap into the unknown
(Picture Courtesy of Sussex Sport Photography)

After this there were some more ups, downs, crawls and running through water. The winter rains had definitely increased the amount of water to get through. Towards the end the water had been pretty deep the first time, but there had been something of an island between two pools, not this time, it was one big pond to swim across, before hauling yourself with the help of a rope, up a steep incline.

Just coming out of yet another steam  (picture from Sussex Sport Photography)
Just coming out of yet another steam
(picture from Sussex Sport Photography)
Swimming through what was an island last time! (Picture from Sussex Sport Photography)
Swimming through what was an island last time!
(Picture from Sussex Sport Photography)
Pulling myself up the bank (picture from Sussex Sport Photography)
Pulling myself up the bank
(picture from Sussex Sport Photography)

After you had made it up the bank, it was a short run round to the finish, but before you crossed the line it was over two more big obstacles, including trying to get up a tarpaulin covered slope that was wet and slippery.

Once I had crossed the line I went to check my time, sure that it would be way over last time, but to my surprise I had actually knocked 11 mins off, and I had just about managed to do it sub 1 hour with a time of 58mins, which just goes to show how much fitter I am now, despite being quite ill on the day. When the final results were released It transpires that I also came 9th woman and 34th overall for the 6km.

This is a great race, and good for beginners too. You can also push yourself more if you want to with 12 and 18km options.

Me and Viki rocking our medals
Me and Viki rocking our medals

Human Race Trailman 6K

My second race in March was the postponed Trailman run that was originally scheduled for February.

Race Description

This race was held in the beautiful countryside of Eridge Park, in Kent. Again I was joined by my good friend Viki Stapley, and another of our RPCC buddies Kate Collins.

This race is actually part of a duathlon series, and there were several options to chose from. We were all taking part in the 6km trail run.

Again this race was well organised, it was easy to register and pick up your race pack, and t-shirt.

It was a really bright sunny day, although it felt cold standing on the start line, once we were into the running and more sheltered it really was quite warm (I regretted my base layer).

Waiting on the start line From left to right, myself, Viki Stapley and Kate Collins (Picture courtesy of Pete Lawless)
Waiting on the start line
From left to right, myself, Viki Stapley and Kate Collins
(Picture courtesy of Pete Lawless)

This time I chose to wear my Royal Marsden running vest to publicise the charity I’m running for a bit. Again sporting my trusty Inov8 Mudclaw trainers.

The Race

After a quick briefing on the start line, we were counted down, the horn was blown and we were off. I started off sprinting down hill, before hitting the first of the mud at the bottom, through a gate and straight onto the first hill.

We had joked about this race a bit on the way, saying it was only 6km and we would run that on a Saturday anyway, but boy had we underestimated how tough this would be!

The first hill was a killer, it was really long and even the front runners were walking it after a while. It was steep, long and muddy and you really had to push yourself up it. Once you finally got to the top there was a nice flat stretch that you could get a good pace going (if you had any energy left after that hill).

This run took you through some really beautiful woodland and countryside, but woe betide you if you had not tied your shoes, several people had to stop as their shoes had come off in the mud!

There were lots of hills – It really felt like it was all uphill, although there has to have been downs as well!

The final hill was another long one, then a gradual accent to the finish.

This was a really enjoyable little race, which was tougher than I had anticipated, and would be really challenging if you had picked the 13km or duathlon versions.

Me just about to cross the line (Picture courtesy of Pete Lawless)
Me just about to cross the line
(Picture courtesy of Pete Lawless)

At the end of the race you could grab a VitaCoCo drink to rehydrate, and a flapjack bar and bag of crisps.

The race also automatically sent a text with your race time which was a great little feature. I completed the run in 42mins.

Viki, Myself and Kate at the end of the race
Viki, Myself and Kate at the end of the race

After getting home I checked out the race results and had another shocker – I had placed 1st Female. Kate and Viki also finished in the top 10 – its fair to say we were all pretty chuffed. (I got another surprise in the post a few weeks later, prize money, which has been donated to my charity)

1st Place was a nice surprise
1st Place was a nice surprise

 

 

The Nuts Challenge

As March arrived I knew I had three races to run, originally I had planned to do two, one at the beginning and one at the end but the trail run that was cancelled in February got moved to mid March so three it was!

Race Description

First up this month was The Nuts Challenge, a 7km race with over 100 obstacles to navigate, This was going to be tough… really tough!

This was the first race this year I would be running with a large number of people from the group I train with in Hastings (RP Combat Conditioning – If you are in Hastings you should check them out) and there was a great atmosphere before we started, despite many of the RPCC crew being stuck in the queue to get in and missing our start time – note to any potential new OCR runners, always arrive with plenty of time!

I was about to give some of my new kit a proper test, My Inov8 Mudclaw 300s were about to have their first race, along with my Inov8 mudsocks, x-raceware shorts and new darkfin gloves. I also had on a Nike base layer under my RPCC vest and Nike running leggings.

Some of the RPCC crew getting ready for the off
Some of the RPCC crew getting ready for the off
Myself with some of my RPCC "family"  (From left to right, Viki Stapley, Ella Roberts, Myself, Rachel Poile)
Myself with some of my RPCC “family”
(From left to right, Viki Stapley, Ella Roberts, Myself, Rachel Poile)

The Race

This race was very well organised, but it was hard to hear the announcements at the start line from inside the nice warm registration tent, and we had a bit of a muddled start. We messed around a bit in the warm up as we didn’t realise it was ours and we were at the back of the pack setting off as a result.

I set off with my friend Viki but this lacklustre start meant that we got held up on some of the obstacles at the start, and it was a little frustrating when there was a large group of people who were a bit afraid of getting in the first lot of cold water! Not really a big deal as we were running for the fun not the glory.

The obstacles on this race were challenging, although we had tried out some of them previously having had a training day on part of the Nuts course a couple of weeks before. There was a lot of running though very cold streams clambering over tire walls and pulling ourselves up nets.

Wading through a cold stream  (picture courtesy of Tim Lovett from Obstacle Kit Ltd)
Wading through a cold stream
(picture courtesy of Tim Lovett from Obstacle Kit Ltd)

My first real challenge came with the fireman’s pole. When we did the training day I stood paralysed with fear at the top for quite a considerable chunk of time being talked down by Rich Pringle from RPCC. This time though, I gritted my teeth and just went for it, The sense of achievement was enormous.

Then came a rope swing over more cold water, a crawl under barbedwire through some mud, and a roll over a couple of nets.

Myself and Viki Stapley rolling around on a Saturday morning! (Picture courtesy of Tim Lovett from Obstacle Kit Ltd)
Myself and Viki Stapley rolling around on a Saturday morning!
(Picture courtesy of Tim Lovett from Obstacle Kit Ltd)

Many, many more obstacles were still to come, the ones that stand out in my memory are a tire carry up a steep, muddy hill, then straight back down it, followed by a lot more ups and downs. This part of the course is where my Inov8 Mudclaw 300s really came into their own. The aggressive grip on these shoes saw me able to climb up these hill easily even as I watched other racers slide back down them.

By around the 3km mark I was running on my own again having lost my friend on one of the longer stretches of running, but I was having a great time.

The last few obstacles saw me battling my fear of heights again over a couple  more cargo nets and then crawling underneath one or two, which got me more covered in mud than I have ever been in my life.

A few wobbly pontoons across a lake, and a crawl over some inflatables (which I promptly fell off, leaving me to swim) and a massive load of hay-bails piled high came towards the end. Luckily obstacle racing is such a friendly sport, and a man sat on top of the bails helping his team mate also gave me a hand to haul my tired body over the top.

I have missed out so many obstacles here, but I can’t honestly get them all straight in my head there were so many.

This was a fantastic race, and for people wanting more of a challenge you can opt to do 2, 3 or even 4 laps.

Across the line and grabbed my medal and then hurried to get out of my wet clothes. I was done!

My Finishers Medal
My Finishers Medal

Final results for me in this race were 1h41mins, 154th over all and 35th Female

As a final note, all the kit mentioned at the start of this blog was fantastic and really did there jobs.