I was invited by the lovely people at The Earned Agency to attend a media preview day for a new obstacle run at Hever Castle.
The obstacle run is part of the Commando Series and the man who runs these events, Brian Adcock, is an ex-Royal marine. The obstacles on this course are designed to be exact replicas of what marines would do in training.
It is a 6k course, includes 15 obstacles set in the beautiful grounds of Hever Castle and is endorsed by the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.
After a warm up with 3 (easy on the eyes) marines we had a gentle jog over to the lake where we had a briefing by Brian. We were shown a map of the course and we were told what the Commando series spirit is, which include things like unselfishness, cheerfulness (I think we all smiled the whole way round), determination and unity to name a few.
We set off as a group and were going to be staying as a group for the whole course. This included the 3 marine instructors, Brian, some photographers (kudos to them for getting around the course and some of the obstacles and taking pics of us along the way!), and Brian’s daughter, Esther. Before I go on let me tell you about Esther, she is 10 years old and I think it is fair to say she put us all to shame. She was the coolest child I think I have ever met; fearless and quite simply amazing. Her parents must be so proud and in reverse how lucky is she to have such cool parents to put on events like this!
So off we set on the course and the marines ensured we slowed when necessary to regroup and we manoeuvred every obstacle cheering each other on and helping when needed. For the actual event you can opt to do the family course, go round at your own pace or to be treated like a commando.
Some of the names of the obstacles were as follows:
- Smarty tubes – 8m long drainage pipes sunk in the ground (there are two tunnels on each side one with water and the other dry – I opted straight for the water pipe)
- The wires – 40m long in the woods where you have to work your way over/under/through metres of elastic cord whilst smoke bombs are being thrown in
- Monkey bars – 5m long with some differing bars and hoops (I wont lie I managed two monkey bars and fell into the arms of a marine, which made it slightly worth the embarrassment)
- Doom drop – 30m steep slippery slide (so much fun!)
- Catacombs of doom – 30m long cave (not made for this course but an original part of the estate, which is pretty cool)
- Peter’s pool – 30m of chest-deep muddy water to navigate across using the laid out rope
- River cross – crossing of a river using suspended and tensioned ropes (there was a lone fisherman on this river as we descended upon it – he was such a good sport and not his every day fishing to have us lot appear from nowhere)
- The chasm – 20m crossing over a lake (which is more mud and clay than water) either crossing on the ropes by crawling across a single rope or the double rope for the Tyrollean Traverse where you stand on one and hold the other above your head (I chose this one, was talked through it by Brian and had words of encouragement from the marines and other members of the group as I was so nervous I would end up in the swamp but I managed to not fall in!)
- Sheep dip – where you completely submerge yourself and go through a tunnel of water (there was a nice marine to push us through and another to pull us out)
The obstacles all have an easier option as this is an event that is not only aimed at adults but children (for ages 8 and over) and families alike so all can take part.
We were all soaked through and covered in mud and it was awesome.
The event takes place on 14 November at Hever Castle and you can buy your tickets here (and I recommend you do so you don’t miss out!):
The Commando Series is partnered with Six Physio, who will be there to offer massages after you cross the finish line, and KitBrix. Have you heard of KitBrix before? They make kit bags that can be used individually or can zip together so for triathlons and multi events are perfect to keep kit separate and easy to use. Also perfect for the Commando Series as you will have some very wet and muddy clothes at the end. I have met Rob from KitBrix before at triathlon events that my husband has taken part in and these bags, from me and my husband, are highly recommended and you will notice them more and more at events as I have found and for one reason and one reason only, which is that they are brilliant.