Pukka Races: Only Fools Ride Horses 2015 – Zoolander Style

You know what I love about Pukka Races? They don’t have ridiculously early start times! This means that despite the two and a half hour journey to Colchester, we didn’t need to get up at 4am to take the trip.

Being that we are usually some of the first to rock up to a race, it was with some surprise that we ended up in quite a long registration queue, it moved fairly swiftly though and it wasn’t too long before I had my number ready to go.

I decided last minuet to join in with some friends doing a “Zoolander” run, rather than go it alone, and I was quickly handed a headband and found myself having face-paint smeared over my cheekbones!

Blue Steel!
Blue Steel!

Due to the registration queues the race start times were pushed back by 10mins or so, but we were soon setting off in the second wave, with a little light jogging and a lot of strutting, and posing for photographs.

"I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking..."
“I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking…”

The run itself was a 4 mile loop around a cross country equestrian course, where most of the obstacles are made up of the horse jumps, meaning a variety of different, lowish hurdles, well spaced and fairly frequent. In addition to these were a wooden frame to climb, a high metal A-frame, a cargo net crawl, sand bag carry, 8ft vertical wall, an inclined wall and some monkey bars.

Oh, we were supposed to jump these?
Oh, we were supposed to jump these?

As we, very slowly, made our way round the first lap there was a lot silliness as, at any moment, our leader Darren would shout out “sashay” and we would have to go into our best catwalk walks until told otherwise, and if you have watched the film Zoolander you will know that he cannot turn left, so at each left turn we came to on the course we would have to go right in a circle to navigate the corner, much to the amusement, or bemusement, of other racers.

As we came to the wooden climbing frame and metal A-frame we hit some obstacle queues, so rather than get bored, we ended up making a pyramid of bodies with some of the people around us, as you do!

Queue for an obstacle? Make your own!
Queue for an obstacle? Make your own!

Once we had cleared the obstacle queues it was on round the field until we were confronted with Batman and Robin holding foam pads blocking our path. We unleashed the “Blue Steel” on Batman, who promptly fell on his back unable to withstand the shear amount of beauty that was before him, Robin however was less moved by our performance and put up more of a fight, he was no match for 9 Zoolanders though and we continued to the cargo net crawl.

"Well I guess it all started the first time I went through the second grade. I caught my reflection in a spoon while I was eating my cereal, and I remember thinking "wow, you're ridiculously good looking, maybe you could do that for a career."
“Well I guess it all started the first time I went through the second grade. I caught my reflection in a spoon while I was eating my cereal, and I remember thinking “wow, you’re ridiculously good looking, maybe you could do that for a career.”

After the cargo crawl we hit the sandbag carry, and a few more horse jumps and then it was time for the slip and slide, we shot down the soapy wet tarpaulin in pairs landing in a grassy muddy tangle at the bottom.

"Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty."
“Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty.”

After the slide it was the home straight, just a few more horse jumps and then you were back in the starting field and faced with the two walls, the guys helped me up and over and then we were off down to the monkey bars. I hopped onto these not really expecting much, intending to give it my best shot and fully anticipating falling to the ground as usual, but this time I just didn’t let go, it took a while, and I thought it was game over in the middle where I found a slippery bar, but I clung on, swung my legs, and eventually I was at the end. I had made it, for the first time ever in a race I had finally conquered a set of monkey bars!

"This has been an emotional day for all of us. I think we should get naked"
“This has been an emotional day for all of us. I think we should get naked”

We then sashayed to the finish line and posed, before 4 of us set back out again for our second lap.

"Derek that was unbelievable!"
“Derek that was unbelievable!”

The second lap was much quicker, we actually ran, and we didn’t get held up on any of the obstacles this time, the slip and slide was now even more muddy, leaving me pleasingly filthy despite this being a race low on the mud factor. Around the last fields, over the last few horse jumps and up and over the last two walls.

Hauling myself over the wall with a little help from my friend Ben
Hauling myself over the wall with a little help from my friend Ben

Finally it was onto the monkey bars again, I didn’t think I would do them twice, I was tired now, and the first time was a bit of a fluke  matched with pure stubbornness of will, but I surprised myself a second time by not only completing them again, but doing it quicker than the first time.

"Oh, Snap!"
“Oh, Snap!”

Then it was a run down to the finish and finally across the line this time. Once again this was a race that was full of fun and laughter and a whole lot of silliness. Pukka Races delivered yet again, and it’s why we keep going back for more.

" Just because we have chiselled abs and stunning features, it doesn't mean that we too can't not die in a freak gasoline fight accident."
” Just because we have chiselled abs and stunning features, it doesn’t mean that we too can’t not die in a freak gasoline fight accident.”