After last year, and some injury hell, I had promised myself I wouldn’t take on to much this year, but some races are just too good to be ignored and Nuclear Blackout, for me, is one of those. I had really enjoyed the day race last year too so I wanted to do that again, and sadly for me the only Spartan Super I could get to fell the next day, so despite my best intentions it was a three race weekend for me, and I was just hoping not to repeat my injury misery from the previous year, where I hurt my feet so badly I had to drop out of a couple of races.
Race 1 – Nuclear Blast
For the first time ever I was going to a race alone, my husband dropping me off and leaving me to go and play in a hockey match, and my friends not meeting me until later. This is OCR though, and you are never alone for long. I very quickly found my friend Hayley who was lovely and kept me company and had me laughing until it was time for me to race.
I set out right at the front of my wave and had the joy of the marshals telling me I was the first girl through in my wave (I eventually finished 5th overall). Hearing that never gets old, and really spurs you on, especially as I haven’t been feeling very strong in my races or training recently. I finished the first lap and set straight off for my second, the course was exactly 5k according to my watch and I was still feeling strong, and although I was running by myself I was enjoying myself getting covered in mud. I had initially thought I would be sensible and stick to two laps but I was inside the time limit and since I knew I was the first girl in my wave I decided to go for the third, and I was certainly feeling better than I had the previous year at this point, with no cramp and running on marshal supplied jelly babies. I finished dirty, and tired, but by no means broken and jumped into the water troughs and then the lovely warm showers before changing ready for round two later.
Race 2: Nuclear Blackout
As the evening drew on it was time to think about the night race, more people that I knew had started to arrive and there was a great atmosphere before we started.
As dusk started to fall I teamed up with my friends Bob Cornford and Vince James and we headed out again onto the course, the Nuclear bunker was only part of the course on the second lap so we knew that we were going to have to do two laps to get the full blackout experience, the course had got churned up during the day and was even more muddy, but I was having a blast with my friends, with plenty of teamwork on the slippery mud. The second lap was a struggle, finally the day was catching up with me, but it was worth it to go through the bunker. We finally finished our two laps and I was very glad to finish, pull off my wet clothes and get into my dry robe!
For a full review of these races check out my write up for Muddy Race Here
Race 3: Spartan South Super
Having arrived home after midnight, and having slept really badly due to a lot of aches, cuts and bruises, it’s fair to say I wasn’t really relishing the thought of another race, despite having looked forward to it after the brilliant race Spartan had put on at Cambridge. I was really lucky though that three of my friends opted to run with me, despite my warnings that I was going to be slower than a snail crawling through toffee.
This race was tough, I struggled, and we used a lot of team work on the way round, helping each other at every turn. I ran with Linda Zeberga, Lee Haines and Helen Chantler, and somewhere in the middle we were also joined by a team of RPCC Warriors headed up by captain Dom Wright for a little while, as we made our way around the bucket carry and log carry.
Despite the aching muscles, and tired and bruised body, I had a lot of fun completing the course in such awesome company, there was always a lot of chatter and laughter as we made our way round.
Spartan had delivered once again, with a really tough course at a great venue. The race had taken us almost as long as I took to run last years Spartan Beast, and well over an hour longer than it had taken me to run last years Super, so this years Beast is shaping up to be epic, and I can’t wait… in theory!
For a full review of the Spartan Super you can read my write up for Muddy Race here.