A few weeks ago the guys at Exposed magazine asked me to enter The Endurer race, 8km up hill and down dale with obstacles every few hundred metres.
Easy peasey I thought!
Today was the day and with absolutely zero specific training and no running under my belt since playing ‘Tiggy’ at school we started on a hill so steep you could use it to stretch out your calves, this was going to be harder than I thought.
After the initial climb (which I think was about 200m but felt like a mile) it was a quick descent through the trees into the muddy bog, literally up to my knees in mud, before reaching the sandbag carry, up a hill and back down, at this point things were ok, there were another few obstacles including hurdles, net crawls and a rope climb and then it was just running…….
……on and on, zig zagging across the countryside, only the odd twisted ankle to break things up!
At what I think was the halfway mark there was the Tunnel Crawl, this is where my body got as muddy as my legs and where I found out I’m a bit claustrophobic, panic attack averted it was time to go up another hill, 2 minutes later a Marshall tells me I’m doing well and ‘it’s all down hill from here’ – unfortunately he’s a lying bastard!
The first two thirds of the second half of the course are the worst, just running, up and down, backwards and forwards, you can see where you’re heading and it’s about 200 metres away but you have to double back on yourself time after time, the only obstacle on this section is the 7m wall you have to get over, unfortunately for me I don’t negotiate it very well and basically just run into it, the Marshall tells me ‘you were looking pretty good up until then!’ – ‘Thanks pal’ I mutter before backing up and having a more successful run at it.
Another couple of kilometres of soul destroying plodding and my lungs are burning, my knees are aching and my ankles are sore, then I get to the last section, now we’re back into obstacle territory, a scramble net followed by some hurdles and then a massive (I assume) 10 foot wall, this has plastic climbing finger grips but I decide to jump to the top spurred on by a 5 year old shouting ‘Come on 374′, after that it’s a few hay bales to climb over and we’re almost done.
The last bit is a water slide down a hill and then the final straight, I get in with a time of 1 hour and 2 minutes, I even beat the Marine, but apparently he got lost!
Was it a good event? – Certainly
Did I enjoy it? – Not in the slightest
Will I do it again? – Probably