I was recently tagged on Facebook by a group I am in called Mudd Queens and was the winner of a competition. I had won two tickets to a new obstacle run called Survival at Betteshanger Park in Kent. It was a 6km run with over 40 obstacles.
When I won this I was not injured and I knew that taking part in an OCR would be silly with my knee injury but I had spoken with my friend who was having the second ticket and said I could walk round and miss any obstacles that would effect my knee in any way. Not exactly the way you go into an obstacle run but I am a terrible patient, do not practice what I preach and I was bored from being stuck in the house for over a week and then hobbling around for the second week. I had gone from training six days a week to doing nothing and I needed to get out.
So on Saturday morning we set off and arrived at the park ready to start. As I mentioned it is the first time this event has taken place and so we had no idea what to expect with no previous reviews or pics to go by.
Registration was a bit of an issue with a huge queue that didn’t move very quickly. When signing up you had to select a wave time but because of the delay they were calling numbers and allowing people to start at different times so although there was a delay in starting for most there was no issue in moving to a later wave time.
To start you climbed over a large bale of hay and took part in a group warm up. The last exercise was a piggy back race but then you were on the course and off. The first obstacle was quite soon into the course so there was some congestion, which is sometimes necessary for safety as was the case in this instance, climbing up and over a scaffolding a-frame. There was yellow grip on the poles. Unfortunately for me my nemesis is anything that requires going up and over and so in my awkward position to get down without freaking out I managed to scrape my arm on every piece of yellow grip – oops!
The run made good use of the park, which was lovely and were it not so far away I would absolutely return – for those of you with this on your door step I am jealous, it looks lovely. I prefer runs that take in natural terrain by far more than urban courses. We ran through a storm drain and through forest and there was a swim across a lake. The event was in conjunction with the park and MY/PT and they have a military fitness course within the park which was included in the route.
Other obstacles included trenches, pits, rope regain, tyre pits, tranazium, slide and steep hill ascents and descents.
Events like these require volunteer marshals and most people forget the importance of this role. I understand that some marshals had not turned up to the event, which is out of the control of the event organisers though I think some of the hill ascents and descents really should have had marshals as opposed to a box jump that could have been tackled unaided.
I had a lot of fun and laughs with my friend on this and although I had to skip some obstacles due to my knee we completed and managed to jog more than walk, which felt like a slight achievement for this hop-a-long at the moment. As the pic shows I’m having a blast – not just an escaped mental patient as it also looks!
It is also the first obstacle run where I have had to climb up and into a skip filled with ……………………………………………….lettuce leaves. That was slightly odd and my god did it stink! You know if you have lettuce in your fridge and it goes off and you open the fridge door and know instantly that something has died in there well imagine a skip filled with it – new perfume anyone?
Definitely good for newbies too with nothing too daunting on the course!