Its no secret that I LOVE the Mens Health London event. I first did it in 2014 with the lovely Elle and it was pretty much my first ‘proper’ OCR. I did it again last year on a freezing cold November day which saw snow across wembley that morning as we stood unwrapping medals as part of our volunteer shift before running it in the afternoon.
This year it was announced they had moved the event from November to July. I have to admit I did find this quite exciting. Running my favourite event without losing feeling in my toes, fingers and other extremities was quite an exciting prospect!
So that I could run it with my buddy we went in a later wave as he was volunteering for the morning so I rocked up about 12 to the event village, zero queue at registration, not the most helpful of ladies giving out T-shirts, and then proceeded to mark up my ‘headband’ which I have to say is the most annoying thing rat race have ever come up with! I didn’t wear mine and just wrote my number on my arm. Wasn’t fancying a white tan line across my head or round my arm!
I had a wander around the event village whilst I waited for Mark to finish his shift and could tell there just wasn’t the atmosphere there usually is at the November events. I watched a few obstacles for a little while and then Mark arrived and we got set to run. They had a free drop for valuables which involved providing a password and then had to pay £2 for the bag drop which they call unsecure and yet there are people manning it to pay the £2 to!
Our wave set off on time and we were soon facing the familiar obstacles that are a standard part of MHSOTF events such as the hay bales a few metres from the start line! Running around the stadium, up the stairs, down the stairs, up the stairs again! Up the stairs with a cone, down the stairs with a cone!
Then off into the industrial park for a length of running which is most definitely ‘trying to add distance’ part of the race! As usual we went down and through the storm drains which were SO much shallower at this time of year than they are in November! It was like a puddle rather than a wade!
Then out into some obstacle heavy areas with space hoppers, crawls, bounding onto stiles, over walls, an irish table, breeze block crawls and much more! We then crossed the road back into Wembley car park and hit the final obstacles, containers to clamber up, cargo nets to cross, the jump onto a huge air bag, the water-slide and finally the travelator.
We got there and there were no queues so I took one look at it and sprinted with the last bits I had left in my legs and surprised myself with getting up it first time! Last time it took me a few attempts and a helping hand, this time I did it completely by myself, was very pleased!
The goodie bag was sorely disappointing this year and definitely something that has got worse over the past 3 years. The medal was decent enough and the ribbon has London on it so I assume the medal design will be the same for all the events with the ribbon just changing on them!
There was much less of an atmosphere than there usually is at MHSOTF events and I found that side of it quite disappointing but I still loved the course. For me its everything I love, road running and obstacles so its by far one of my favourite events!