Today saw the start of my #24Events24Months challenge for 2015. A very muddy, boggy, wet Muscle Acre 10km not far from home.
The race started at a sociable time of 11am but knowing we had to pick up race numbers we got there just before 10am. Registration was quick and easy and we soon had our race numbers and were directed to pick up our tshirts, this lead to the same thing as MHSOF when half the racers are in the same colour/same tshirt and its hard spotting anyone lol. As I’m running all my events for The Lullaby Trust I kept my LT vest on. I was also wearing a merino wool layer underneath for the first time.
Once we had our numbers we had a quick chat with one of the organisers who gave us a hint of what to expect and then made a last toilet visit before putting bags in the bag drop, a lorry which was good as the bags didn’t get damp on the floor! It was soon time to warm up and we were treated to a ‘film’ themed warm up featuring moves such as ‘Rocky’ – boxing and ‘Jaws’ – swimming arms. You get the idea! It made for a fun warm up!
We lined up and then it was time to go! The smoke bombs were set up and off we ran up a hill! A hill straight away, so kind! We then came back around and were faced with ‘the mound’ a very steep pile of mud. Unfortunately it was quite dry, it would have been more amusing if they had given it a soaking with the hose! We got up fairly easily and then faced our first shoe sucking mud! Plenty of trainers got eaten by the mud but mine survived thankfully!
Then we ran down and out of the farm and then back up another hill and into the farm again to climb over hay bales and tyres before having a nice section of running up and down the hill, I think something like 3 times! We then climbed over a small A-Frame and then a few log jumps before being faced with our first water! 2 skips lined up next to each other. I do find skips really awkward to get in and out of but I managed it without too much awkwardness! We then ran around onto the muddy boggy compost it seemed, a few nice hills and more trainer sucking mud plus a ‘fire’ jump, it was a very small pile of burning logs but for me it was perfect! Fire jumps terrify me and I’ll be facing my fears at Spartan this year but this was a good beginner obstacle!
After that we headed around into a large field area for some monkey bars, mud crawls, wading through chest deep water, climbing in and out of numerous pools of water – one of which contained a log across it which the ex marine was encouraging us to go under, I have a complete fear of being submerged and couldn’t face it this time so went over.
We also had a range of horse jumps to navigate as well as trying not to break our ankles on the uneven ground! The first 5k took us 51 minutes according to my Garmin and the two water and jelly baby stops were well received! The course then moved around to a barbed wire crawl that it appeared was electrified, due to previous heart problems I generally wouldn’t risk an obstacle like that but there was enough space I was confident if I kept flat on the ground I’d survive.
We then headed into the woods and some seriously squealchy mud. We decided it was better to run as that meant you didn’t sink as far as if you waded through. It was a good laugh and we looked a right state. We then had a short time of running on some roads before coming to another wooded area where we were greeted with a long narrow stream to run down and then lakes to wade through. We then came to a long section which was really uneven in the depth and had some mega soft mud underfoot in places. Everyone was getting stuck and trying not to fall face first in, it was quite exhausting. We then came across a field with a sandbag carry – AWKWARD! Hate those things! And then we had to climb up and into a farm truck and jump down the other side. The marshall was being a great sport and climbed up with us.
It was soon showing to be the last couple of kms and we could see where we were going to have to run. We came across a sloped wall which had a rope to help you in getting up. I wasn’t convinced I was going to make it up without assistance but decided I’d try and I had a guy behind me who had agreed to help if I needed it. Halfway up was a small ledge and I managed to get one foot straight up onto it. I then managed to grab as high as I could and then swing my second leg up. I then felt stuck and wasn’t sureI could move my hands without falling but decided to try and have faith in my body and I took the reach and made it without falling. I was so excited that I’d done it without any help at all! Then it was just a case of sliding gracefully …. ok more like looking like an eel, down the other side! We then had to run up the hill and back again to a A-Frame that must have been a good 8ft or so! Thankfully the wood was squared rather than round and I felt a bit more confident as I got over it. The guys told us we were currently at 1hr 30 so we decided to go for a push in order to get under 1hr 45.
We made steady progress round to the final set of tyres, a crawl under some corrugated metal x 3! And then up to the last obstacle, the wall! There was the option of using the rope which I decided wasn’t for me and asked lovely George to give me a leg up, another kind hand, I’m not sure who! Gave me a shove and I was up!Then I had the ungraceful ‘fall’ to the ground! Once all four of us were over we made a dash for the finish! Chips handed back, medals around our necks and a little goodie bag with a banana and foil blanket collected and it was time to change! The organisers had put up two tents which served as a great warmer place to get changed!
Overall I was really impressed with Muscle Acre. Plenty of obstacles to keep me happy! Some big and some small, a few more ‘big ones’ would be nice 😉 The event village was small but useful, they had a little barista van available and my mum and the kids made use of it whilst they were waiting for me. The bag drop was secure and dry and there was enough toilets for the size of the race. Only thing that I was a bit disappointed with is the medal doesn’t mention the 10k or date or anything, it would be nice to have a medal that is different from the 5k, I got the impression the medal is the same for all races. Aside from that I thought it was excellent value for money, a great beginners course too and one I’ll definitely revisit if dates don’t clash!
Wearing my Lullaby Trust vest was a great way to spread the word about Lullaby Trust and what they do as it got me chatting with a few people about who they are and why I’m supporting them. I’ve always said fundraising for Lullaby Trust isn’t just about raising the money, its also about getting people talking about SIDS and remembering Matilda Mae and the families being affected by SIDS everyday. Today was run 1 out of 24. 24 Events to mark the fact that 2015 will be 2 years since Matilda passed away. 24 Events where I promise to push myself as hard as I can and face my fears.
Please do sponsor me, even if its only a few quid, it all helps! You can text using the code below, or visit http://www.justgiving.com/24events24months