Tag Archives: obstacle course runs

How it Feels to Complete the Spartan Trifecta

It’s done! The Spartan Trifecta is complete! So how does it feel?

My trifecta consisted of a 3ish mile Spartan Sprint near Peterborough, a 10ish mile Spartan Super near Edinburgh and a 13ish mile Spartan Beast near Hastings.

I ran a half marathon back in March and swore I’d never to it again so why I signed up to the Beast (a half marathon with obstacles) I’ll never know. I think it was a mix of alcohol and bravado!

Although I am still hobbling and bruised from the Beast I think that, despite its slightly shorter distance, the Super in Scotland was actually much tougher. I’m from Cambridgeshire, where you can see for miles across the flat fens, and ramps up to shops put strain on the calf muscles. I wasn’t at all prepared for the horrendously long and steep hills of Scotland!

That said, the Super in Scotland was a beautiful course. In fact all three events were in lovely rural settings. The natural obstacles are probably my favourites: wading through streams, winding through trees, scrambling up muddy banks and swimming across rivers. The downside is that it takes longer to clock up the miles… plodding through knee high mud takes a long time to get not very far.

Then there are the obstacles, rope climbs, monkey bars and cargo nets to name just a few. Reaching an obstacle feels like a relief from the running, until you realise that if you fail you will have to do 30 burpees!

Teamwork is encouraged though and if it wasn’t for the help of my friends and the strong shoulders of some fellow obstacle course runners then I would never have got over the eight foot walls. Most people are pretty courteous and help each other out, although I was kicked in the face by Wonder Woman in her effort to overtake me at the top of an A frame!

How do I feel now it’s done? Like a Spartan? No, I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus …and then kicked in the shins by each of the passengers for making them late. I do feel a sense of achievement though and when my bruises have gone down and my friends sign up for next year, I’ll probably have forgotten the pain and soon be shouting the Spartan call of aroo aroo aroo again.

Fancy taking part? Check out Spartan Race UK here: http://spartanraceuk.uk/

Mud and guts

The guys caked in mud
Mudderella 2014

I don’t like running and I don’t like mud. Yet I paid good money to run five miles and get caked in mud. Obstacle course runs are popping up all over the place these days and they seem to be really popular. But why?

That was the question I asked myself yesterday as I joined the horde in the mass warm up before heading to the start line of Mudderella. “Remember why you are here,” the organisers shouted down the microphone as they built the crowd up.

Why am I here? I thought. “Are you raising money for charity, to challenge yourself, or to support a friend?” the organisers asked. None of the above, I thought.  I’m here because my friends are here and I don’t like to miss out on a laugh.

So we donned our race numbers, painted our faces and set off. The first section was uphill and seemed to take forever. Reaching the first obstacle was a relief – a short break from running. The first obstacles were not too bad, crawling under nets and climbing over hay bales.

But it soon got worse than just muddy hands and knees when we reached the obstacle called ‘Fifty Shades of Mud.’ After sliding down mud mounds into stinking waist deep water and clambering up the other side we were completed caked from head to foot. And if I thought the running was tough already then I was in for a shock when I had a thick layer of mud, soaked through clothes, and trainers full of gunk to weigh me down.

Thankfully most of the mud was washed away at the final obstacle.  However, it did involve descending a kamikaze style water slide into a pool of water mixed with the mud, sweat, probably blood, and who knows what else of all the runners before us.

We made it to the end and enjoyed the well-deserved complementary beer. So would I do it again? Well I still don’t like running, or mud, or being cold and wet but it was somehow funny and if my mates did it again then yes I would probably join them.