A few months ago I saw an offer on Facebook for the early bird price for a new event being hosted by the same company who run the Grim Challenge. I decided that as it was a couple of weeks ahead of Liverpool marathon that I’d sign up for the 5k rather than 10k option. I was glad I did as on the day we discovered it was laps! I’m not a laps fan!
The event was held up near the Olympic Park. I love that area and I hadn’t been around near the Stadium for a couple of years so it was nice to see the way they had redeveloped the area. It was like an OCR training playground! I am so going up there to train sometime!
We eventually found our way to the start area although it took us absolutely ages and required a decent sense of direction! Its only because I knew the area a bit that we found it! There were no signs that we saw!
Whilst walking down we asked a guy who was wearing his finisher tee and medal if he felt we needed trail shoes, he told us he had ran in trails and regretted it so we stuck to our road shoes. To be honest we got wet just once! And there was ZERO mud! It was the driest OCR I’ve ever participated in!
We were in the first 5k wave which was due to start at 1pm, a joker on the PA announced our start had been delayed as there were still 10k runners on the course. Tbh I’m not sure what happened to them. They had just started their 2nd lap about 12.50 and the impression the PA was giving was that they were supposed to be off the course for the 5k runners which seemed a bit harsh. The general attitude about this kind of stunk a bit and didn’t feel very in-keeping with the usual supportive atmosphere of OCR! Eventually we got started about 1.10 and decided that looking at the calibre of our fellow runners we would try and get at the front of the pack, not something I’ve ever done before! We set off and expected to be overtaken by loads of speedy people, and it didn’t happen! Was quite surreal! One guy went ahead and one female and that was it, we were leading the pack!
One whole mile of running before we came to our first obstacles. These contained a 5.5ft wall – I judged it at that as it was about my height. The marshall was shocked when I managed it myself but in a good way which made me laugh! After that we had a few rope obstacles and a cargo net crawl and tunnel crawl before more running.
A few steps and slopes and then we came to the next bunch of obstacles. A barbed wire crawl which was low enough you actually had to crawl, I kind of have a bug bear about ones where people can just speed through and not even get near the barbed wire! A balance beam and then a half pipe! Helen took a run at it grabbed the top but then couldn’t get up. I wasn’t sure I was making a sensible decision to try it with my torn quad but I gave myself one attempt and then I’d skip it. I got up grabbed it and managed to get my ankle over and hooked on, with a bit of a nudge from the marshall I was up! WHOOP! A roll over the net and down onto some over and under bars and then it was the water station which was about 2.5 of a mile. We then ran the final bit to the last obstacles which were all in the main section near the event village. You came into it to a rope swing.
Then a nice smooth a frame to attempt to run up, again wasn’t sure I should try this with my quad so went with my one attempt rule and managed it! After this was the one wet section which was just a small crawl. After that we had the slide. It was short but FAST! I ended up with my legs in the air stuck in the foam pit at the bottom having to be hauled out by the marshall! Helens face when she went down was an absolute picture!
After that we faced the swinging balls where you had to balance, monkey bars and finally a series of walls. I managed the overhang, incredibly elegantly *this may be a lie* with some assistance and then a few of the smaller walls, I decided jumping down off the larger ones was a dumb idea with my quad and so decided not to risk them.
The final obstacle was a jump onto a giant air pillow. We were on track for under an hour and there were plenty of people freaking out about heights at the top. Eventually we got up there and the marshalls explained to us we needed to land on our bottoms. I of course asked what happened if you landed on your legs but he failed to answer me. I stepped up to the edge and jumped immediately. After two recent jumps into horribly muddy water this was a piece of cake! I rolled off and waited for helen before we made the sprint down the finish!
With a chip time of 53 minutes I was absolutely THRILLED! In the top 50 overall and the 17th female was just effing awesome! Ok so it wasn’t the ‘usual’ racers I was up against but even so I’m happy!
Only downsides I’d say were the lack of mud and the queues for the bag drop but when we were dropped them off and collecting them. I wouldn’t be happy if I paid more than about £35 for the race either as I didn’t rate it that highly for obstacles but it was a great beginner race I’d say!
Awesome bling and tshirt!