Sat 10km Lakes
I’ve been really looking forward to this weekend. It’s the first of the ‘big ones’ – two races in two days, and from what I could remember from Total Warrior last year, I really like this event. Oh and I’ve not run a 10km since I think probably Bing, so I was keen to see how I would fair over this distance again.
In for the Saturday 10km (Wave 1 obviously) we travelled down on Friday. By we, I mean #1 and I. She was my sidekick this weekend and had an absolute blast on the Saturday running around the site doing a mixture of volunteering and spectating. The drive down took us past the turnoffs for Spartan and Tough Mudder which just added to the excitment and with just one small detour into the back of beyond we arrived at our camping destination set and ready to go.
What I will say from the off is that this race was flawless. The course was amazing, and the distance was perfect. There was no thoughts of ‘god why am I here’, because I was finished before they creeped in. There were enough challenging obstacles to make me aware that I have worked hard this weekend and the running sections were not as long or as tough as previous races so you were constantly aware that you were in an obstacle race as opposed to a trail run. The only thing that I got wrong today was my pre-race prep. I took my energy gel too early, without water and I was standing on the start line sweating with my heart going like the clappers. So all that resulted from this was that for the first 3km I had to really work to not be sick. Every time I tried to put some pace into my legs the nausea hit me bad. So it was a bit stop start for a while until thankfully the first water stop provided some cold hydration and the feeling wore off. I found my stride an had a really nice run after that.
The scenery in the Lakes is amazing, and there is a real sense that this is a special race. It started with the bog standard ‘leg it’ which completely blew my ‘this race might be flat’ mentality out of the window. I am PRAYING for a less hilly terrain in the coming weeks, my legs are tired. Human BBQ was next where we had to jump the fire and into the water, then through a river (don’t like these crossings much, I always slip), and then up another hill we went. I have gotten quite good at crawling through mud and also picking my way through boggy parts of courses, and found myself gaining some position after the 2km marker. I had started right at the back of Wave 1 so had no real idea of how many people were in front of me at this point. I met Julie, one of the other females from the RaceFit team and we ran together for a wee while which was nice and kept me distracted from the sick feeling churning in my stomach.
Total Warrior managed to do something that hasn’t been done since Dirty Weekend – they presented an obstacle I haven’t seen before. Tarzan. A rope across water whereby you had to attached yourself upside down on, interlocking your feet on the rope and pulling yourself across. I was worried. This isn’t something I’ve ever done and I was worried I’d fall off. But I didn’t. All the way across, no bother. Although the achilles injury from Spartan has ripped right open again as a result of my foot dragging against the rope. Cannae win them all I suppose.
Onwards we went through more mud (by god TW does mud really really well), over more walls, there was a jump into water whilst trying to hit a bell (didn’t – standard). There were A Frames that I didn’t fall off and monkey bars that I completed and then the dreaded water slide. I had forgotten about the water slide completely. And it’s not my favourite by any stretch of the imagination. I lost three female positions just standing at the top being a pussy about it until I just (tentatively) flung myself down it in a fit of rage. It was fine. I didn’t hurt myself and I didn’t even really roll off the end. God knows why it scares me so much.
The end was in sight, quite literally we could see the finish line. One more A Frame to climb and then surely that was it? No. Total Warrior were cruel. We diverted down into another river which then presented this huge mud wall covered with a cargo net. ‘Peak of Pain’ was horrible. My legs were aching by this point and all i could think about was not being overtaken by any more females. Which sort of worked, although I did fail in my attempt to retake the positions I had given up a few obstacles back. A log carry (Spartan take note, it was 100m, one wall to hop over and the logs weighed less than 100kg) and then the end was in sight. Again.
Niamh had popped up at this point and was shouting words of encouragement from the sidelines. One last climbing wall and then it was done. Just like that.
I finished 38th female overall. Out of a field of 1744. So in the top 3% of females. I’ll take that. Julie finished just in front of me, and Kat who is an absolutely outstanding runner took 3rd female place overall finishing in just over an hour.
The boys did well too, with the RaceFit team securing Male places from 2nd-9th, with Al and Tim winning 1st and 2nd Vet respectively, as well as winning fastest team on the day. These guys are incredible, and it was a privilege to run in the same field as them today.
So Saturday was done. Except it wasn’t. After a quick change and some food, we volunteered for the rest of the afternoon, handing out t shirts and goodies at the finish line. Niamh and I took ourselves off at one point to watch my sister and 4 of her friends finish the last few obstacles and it was a pleasure to be out on the course watching all the other runners. The weather was amazing and the area around the monkey bars and water slide was perfect to spectate in. Rounded off with some more food and a shower, Niamh was crashed out in the tent by 8:30pm. Ready to do it all again in less than 12 hours time…
Saturday Lakes you were amazing… On to Sunday we go…
Sunday – 10 miles.
The first thing to go wrong today was at 1am I woke up to a soaking wet tent. everything from the pillows to the 8 year old lying next to me was drenched. So we had a leak. For me, the day went downhill from there and in the end I made the decision not to run.
But the team were amazing, as always. Kat secured 2nd female, Al was 2nd Vet and they came away with fastest team again. The atmosphere was just as high as it was on Saturday and Niamh and I hung out on the course until the guys came through.
So overall, an amazing weekend. Total Warrior has easily jumped into first place as the best race for the year. I love the 10km distance, I love the obstacles, I love that it ticks every single box that you’ve not even been aware you’re looking for. It is the absolute pinnacle of obstacle racing. Bring on Edinburgh in September…