Second weekend, and second race in May. This Race had some massive build up on Facebook and Twitter, and I was really looking forward to it… it did not disappoint!
I wasn’t originally planning to do this race, as I knew I already had two races booked in for May, and wasn’t sure I could handle 3 weekends in a row, but after a bit of a Twitter chat with the people at Nuclear races, with some gentile persuasion on their part, I was almost convinced, so I put a message up on my Facebook page and pretty soon had an offer of a running partner from Tim Lovett of Obstacle Kit LTD. My husband then decided to join us too and we were a-go.
The race was a choice of 6 or 12km, but who wants to mess around on half a course, you never know what you might miss, so we went for the full 12km, and it promised some pretty epic obstacles.
Having left plenty of time to get round the M25, we got lucky with very little traffic, which meant we got there nice and early. We got to see some of the amazing elite athletes finish, and have a chat with a few people who had run the course, although I’m not sure how wise this was, the overall consensus was that it was going to be tough. Its safe to say I was feeling more and more nervous.
After hanging about the Obstacle Kit tent, probably getting in the way, it was finally time to warm up and get going. The course eased us in “gently” taking us straight into a stream to slide into then clamber out of, with the help of some wooden slats in the side of the bank, then onto a run along a field, then up over a wall, where I did a very ungraceful dismount landing on my bottom!
The race boasted around 50 obstacles, which I’m sure I will muddle up and get in the wrong order but I will do my best.
There was one of the longest log carries ever conceived, which not only included running with your log, which you were going to become quite attached to, but also taking it in, out and through several streams, and even under a cargo net suspended over the water. If you were lucky you could also pick up the extra heavy nuclear log which would win you a medal holder, but this had already been nabbed by a pantomime horse in-front of us. (No joke, there actually was someone, well two someone’s, racing as a panto horse!)
The “Hang Tough” obstacle was a series of hanging rings over a water pit, but slippery with mud I couldn’t hold on, Tim and I did do some synchronised falling though!
There were the well publicised Gorilla bars – 120 meters of monkey bars, which if you could complete would win you a free pair of trainiers – I fell straight off, so did hubby Phil, but Tim gave it a decent go while Phil and I clambered in and out of what felt like endless muddy trenches filled with water, and with high slippery banks.
Next up was a relentless section of cargo nets over what looked like nice soft mud, but the mud was full of sharp stones and every time you thought it was over, there was yet another net, my poor knees took the brunt of the punishment, but I felt pretty good finally getting through!
Once we had got through the cargo nets, and done a bit more running the course rejoined with the 6km runners and we got to some of the most fun obstacles ever, the zip wire and the death slide.
The only downside of the zip wire was a bit of a wait which meant getting a bit chilly, but once you were on it was awesome! Then across a river over a net, and it was finally time for the death slide, a two story high slide out over a lake, we sat down, I think I was trembling, heights aren’t my strong point, counted three, two one, and off we went. It was AMAZING, so much fun, I wanted to go round again. This course was worth every cut, bruise and bead of sweat just to get to this point!
Somehow, despite being well ahead of me on the decent, Tim still managed to land on me in the lake, still we untangled and I couldn’t stop laughing, probably the most fun I have had in a race, but no time to hang about, across the rest of the lake, and it was time to haul ourselves out with the help of a handy rope.
There was a pretty grim wade through a stinking manure pit, that even had added bubbles, and a rope traverse over yet more water, which was actually pretty fun. There were a section of tunnels over another stream, which you could chose to go over or under, Phil chose to go through while Tim and I went over the top… this was actually not very comfortable in the end.
Some more running, some stepping stones – well logs – over some more water, which I think I fell off almost each one, and we were heading towards the final 3km.
We hit the fireman’s poles, and I had another moment at the top, but Phil managed to break the tension by leaping off the top and kind of sitting in mid air before landing on his bum on the mat – it was one of the funniest obstacle attempts I’ve seen, which gave the spectators a laugh, and me the courage to step off the ledge – which I think I did a bit more gracefully than my husband!
There was a half pipe which I ran up, and then slid straight back down, yet more running, plenty more mud. Towards the end we had to get up a slippery slope using a rope, then head under some corrugated tin through some more mud that was painful again on the knees, a few more walls and fences to climb and then an attempt at a sprint finish that the boys managed much better than me. We had survived, and I am eternally grateful to the guys for sticking with me when they could easily have completed the course much more quickly without me holding them back. In the end we complete the course in 2h05mins.
I know I have missed loads out of this, but it’s already turned into a pretty long post, all I have left to say is that I loved this race, it could well be my favourite of the year so far, despite being quite tough… I will most certainly be back for more Nuclear action later in the year – watch this space!