Well this was one of the biggest ones of the year. Something I knew that was really going to test me and to say I’d been dreading it would probably be an understatement. My friend I was originally meant to be running with had to drop out so that left me desperately searching for someone to run with who would be of a similar pace. In the end that got resolved but for a few weeks I was desperately trying to psych myself into running solo. Unsure if I could do it.
Thankfully childcare meant that we were able to arrive on the Friday afternoon to register and I have to admit I felt calmer for it knowing that when we arrived Saturday everything was set and we just had to get going. Registration was nice and straightforward and like MHSOF you get your T-shirt before the race which means when you look through the photos there are just thousands of bumblebees! I named them bumblebees thanks to the colours of the shirts lol!
I’d love to be able to give a blow by blow account but we were on the course over 8 hours and I think I’m so mentally traumatised I’ve blocked out most of it so I’m going to break it down to the moments I do remember.
- Walls – Lots of walls! Don’t get me wrong I LOVE walls but my god there were so many of them! I vaguely remember one 5ft one which I managed solo but other than that most were high enough that assistance was required. On one which was more similar to an irish table I ended up dangling over the edge with my groin in my team mates face after he fell backwards trying to support me.
- Seeing my buddy Mark early on in the race and then getting to see him about Mile 12 at the hideous wall from MHSOF. His pep talk and hugs were much needed and it was so good to see a friendly face.
- Completing the cage crawl – I can be quite claustrophobic at times and wasn’t sure how I’d handle this but I was glad I did it!
- Water stations with cadbury freddos, biscuits and crisps!
- Getting kicked in the face twice. Once on the longest cargo net crawl in the world when the guys foot slipped and promptly met my cheek! 2nd time on the wall at MHSOF.
- Completing the water section even if the marshall thought I was damn mental querying if the life jackets really would stop me drowning! Getting onto those pontoons was so hard and then falling off one of the ones when you needed to walk across a narrow gap wasn’t a high light! Nor was the hose at the end of it, thankfully I had a friend as a shield ;-) Around the corner was the water jump and I wanted to be brave and do the 20ft but I just couldn’t so I did the lower one and it felt much better with the life jacket than the previous week at Tough Mudder. I surfaced much faster and felt much happier! I didn’t love the slide down into the lake though!
- Conquering my fear of one of the obstacles in the woods. It involved descending with your hands on a rope and feet on ledges, it looked ridiculously high from the top and I thought I needed a bit of time to get it together but a brilliant marshall encouraged me and despite me telling those behind me to go on ahead he stopped them and told me to sit down and follow his instructions. I was thankful for him because without him I’d have stayed there AGES!
- Splitting my trousers at some stage in the day and only realising around 10 miles! Spent the rest of the day conscious of it! Thankfully I had underwear on!
- The final two obstacles! The big one with its 4 x 8ft bloody walls! It was exhausting and I just wanted to be done! A bit of team work and a helping hand from strangers and I was up them but I got halfway and just thought I can’t do this! It was either going down 2 x 8ft walls which would hurt or getting up to be able to go down the ladder.
- Coming over a stone wall at mile 16 and sliding down awkwardly absolutely ruining my thigh for the final 4 miles.
- The curly wurly at the finish line! AMAZING!
- The water slide that was so slow we nicknamed it the penguin as everyone had to shove themselves down it pretty much!
- Struggling to balance along the various balance beams in the woods!
- Avoiding one of the pond crossings only to be faced with the muddiest wettest ditch you could imagine! #Fail!
Overall my lasting thought was I paid £140 to be tortured for a whole day! Initially I said never again however I kind of feel I have unfinished business so maybe one day I’ll do it again. For now the bruises still need to heal!