Saturday, 9 April 2016

Relentless suffering

So back in last year John got in touch to query if I'd be up for a slightly different run, which took three events that were being held on one day at a venue called Rockingham castle, where you could do all three races in the space of one day. Ten miles, 10k and a 6k, so around nineteen miles or so I thought.
As time went on, there was literally no information being released about what to expect, aside from an email with entry number and a little more to say not less than twenty miles, which given I'd done double laps at Tough Mudder which were about eleven didn't seem so bad.
I did think about doing training for this as I also want to be able to complete three laps of a Tough Mudder course this year which could be thirty six miles. Sadly my training was put on hold when an old injury decided to flare up, then after that seemed to subside, I had problems with my legs. So needless to say not a lot of training has been done.
Got down to Nottingham and John picked me up, then we headed over to the hotel which was a lovely Hilton place. Got settled in and then headed out for the meal. We met up with Gaz and Evee or rather puffin muffin to give him his full title. I went with a large mixed grill, tiny steak, gammon, chicken, chips sausage mushroom and egg, very nice if the steak was a weird shape. A couple of Guinness and black and we were chatting to our own groups,  although it only changed when I mentioned the Arctic marathon which has a $15,000 entry fee, which puts Tough Mudder's entry fee into the shade a touch.
We chatted amongst ourselves and someone suggested sending salad to the other table, with 22 forks, or a steak shaped lettuce, basically a lot of talk about lettuce. We eventually finished and after a second portion of chips. We headed over to the hotel and got off to bed after John got his waiver and entry number printed off.
I was out like a light and woke a couple of times due to the bed being so warm but got a good night's sleep. Woke around 6 and got ourselves down for breakfast, more sausage, eggs, beans and hashbrowns.
We walked over to the event site and got ourselves into the reception area to collect race number, timing chip and wristband, waited a bit in the tent set aside for relentless suffering entrants, a sort of food and drinks station. The warm up talk seemed important but no one was really listening, then a warm up, which I took part in as it was a bit chilly, then we were a bit delayed in starting people off so we finally set off at 9:30 which was alright as they were delaying the time you had to be setting off for the last run.
The first obstacle was a small triangle wall to climb over, which was easy then a slightly taller one, again not too bad, we then had our first varying obstacle, water barrels before into a really cold stream to walk along before some press ups before having a bunch of metal barriers to clamber over which was physically draining, then more stream and a skip of water which had a drop into the skip and a jump off the end of it which was pretty unsafe, especially as you had to use the edge of the skip to get out.
Most of the other obstacles were a combination of carrying things cargo net and mud. We got through a forest section and it seems someone removed the signs, so we ended up going in the wrong direction and having to turn back after finding we'd missed the sandbag carry, so back over the course we headed and found it, it also meant we got to so the kettle bell drag.
It turns out we were carrying 40kg bags of sand up and down a hill eight times, the hill had an incline of around 45° or more angle, Gaz and John had enough and decided to take the forfeit, which was less than the 25 press ups I ended doing by completing the obstacle. They went on ahead as they wanted to get into the OCR championship, I just wanted to finish it. I don't know how long it took me but it must have been close to ¾ of an hour easily, towards the end I was just resting at the top, finally back on track I skipped the part that we had already done.
I continued running and occasionally walking until the next obstacles but they all pretty much blended into each other after this point where they were climb over something or carry something. I did manage to split my shorts on the tyre flip as they were stuck in mud. I eventually gave up with obstacles as I had no energy left and my motivation to do them was in the toilet so I took the forfeits.
I finally saw the finish line and four walls to climb over so I just walked past basically going "yeah, screw that, I'm done" before crossing the line after five hours and forty minutes, which for eighteen and a half miles seems quite long, especially as I can usually do Tough Mudder in three and a half.
Aside from the slight issues I had with safety and people not really helping each other, it was definitely something that was challenging and I'm glad I took part, I just wish I knew how hard it might have been before hand and that we hadn't gone in the future wrong direction, I might be up for doing it again next year, possibly over two days instead if just the one.