Up early on a cold and damp Saturday morning in November meant another race day had dawned, so it was on with my kit, bag packed with supplies and off to the train station to meet up with some friends before travelling up to London to take on Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest with Team Muddy Race.
Survival of the Fittest London is a 10km urban obstacle race run around Wembley Stadium. Three trains and several dodgy conversations later and we were at the registration tent, where we were told by one of the volunteers that we knew that the Muddy Race team were gathering in the bar so once we had got through the well organised registration we headed off to the bar where we were greeted with some rather lovely cakes (Muddy Races 3rd Birthday) and a lot of hugs and laughs.
With cake and maybe a little bit of beer before we started off, it was clear that we were all about to take this race really seriously, so with game faces on we made our way to the warm up area.
We waited until the back of our wave to allow for pictures of us setting off, then jogged up to the first obstacle which was a set of hay bails, followed by a vault up and over a lorry. It was clear from the offset that this race was going to be nothing but fun, with a group of 12 of us all sticking together and generally being a bit silly.
This was a great venue for a race, weaving your way around the iconic Wembley stadium, up right around the outside, we stopped to pose for the go-pro in front of the “Green Car Park” sign, then a giant cone carry up and down some of the many stairs. A slip and slide down one of the ramps and a quick pit stop on top of the hay bales at the bottom to pose for an official group picture, somewhat annoying the guys behind us as we blocked the obstacle a bit – oops.
After this we headed out away from the stadium where they even found some mud for us to get dirty in and some water to wade through.
A sandbag carry under some fencing, through mud, up a slight hill, with road shoes on was more difficult than it should have been, but a slide on top of the sandbag back down the other side was quite fun (probably not the way you were supposed to do it). A bit of criss-crossing some water, getting out through some slippery mud. A slide through some inflatables that must have been a bit more impressive earlier in the day as when we got there most of them had been deflated.
As we came down one section I was told by one of the guys who had already run once that next up was a basket ball dunk – I thought this was a joke as we were about to pass a small court, however that was exactly what you had to do, three attempts to shoot a hoop – I failed!
A bit of messing around on top of a table and a stop off in a play park to go on the slide (We thought we would add in a few more obstacles) and we were having a blast, and impressively managing to keep all 12 of us together.
There was a climb down some ladders into a stream to wade through, which gave me a wobble from the height, a really dark storm drain to run through, with everyone around whooping in the dark. A little later I was told we were going into the disco room – again I thought this was a joke, but into an industrial unit we went, which was dark, filled with smoke, pumping music with strobe lights. We danced our way through and back out again before heading back towards the stadium.
The obstacles were packed together towards the end, we climbed up and down tall towers, up ramps and over platforms, always finding time for a cheeky photo opp.
As we weaved around the final obstacles, we were taken into the beer tent carrying a keg, and then we hit a lot of walls. With a big team it was no problem, helping each other up and over walls and up the big pyramid at the end.
We had a crawl through a tyre mangle which looked like it had claimed more than its fair share of peoples race numbers (thankful for my X-Racewear shorts as I’ve not lost a number all year) and a splash through a pit of water and we were nearly done.
Finally all that was left was the Wall of Fame, we all helped each other over, in fact I was lifted bodily from the ground by Mark Allen and Ben Weeding pulling me up by my arms, then we gathered for a group finish.
I can honestly say this was one of the most fun races I’ve done. It seemed to take no time at all to cover the distance, and I barley noticed the miserable weather.
When we were finished there were more cakes and drinks before we headed off for a well earned team Nandos!
(Most photos courtesy of Rob Foulkes from Muddy Race – check out their website for everything OCR)