As the mist rolled in over the hills and the bagpipes played you could be excused for thinking that an epic battle was about to commence.
And it was.
This was MacTuff 2017, and what a battle it was.
I was there spectating today, I gifted my ticket to Jamie after realising I just wasn’t prepared for this race. Abby, Anna and Niamh made up our spectating foursome and we had an amazing day darting round the course following our Warrior Fit and Race Fit team mates. It was also nice to bump into Sarah Kennedy who is a pocket rocket when it comes to races like this.
If the initial obstacle of dodging American Footballers lulled you into thinking that this would be a ‘fun’ OCR then you very abruptly reminded that this is not a race to be sniffed at. It’s a World Championship Qualifier, it was 15km over hills, through mud, across water, with the added bonus of 51 obstacles thrown in. Yes, 51. This race deserves respect, anything less would probably land you with hypothermia.
And there was no let up. From the mile long sand bag carry, to the car pull, to the weaver (should be called ball breaker), to that awful A Frame, to the quarry swim, this race was assault after assault on every part of your body, and your mind.
Because this race was a qualifier there was no let up on the time penalties (5 minutes) given if you took the ‘easy’ option or skipped an obstacle. We saw racer after racer try tirelessly to achieve obstacles just to avoid added time at the end. Hands bleeding, knees ripped open, they tried – giving absolutely everything. For what it boils down to, Qualifier or not, is that it’s not about where you finish, it’s about giving it your all. It’s about pushing yourself to the mental and physical limit, it’s about roaring into the face of the beast and realising that you are the beast.
That’s what true OCR is, that’s why we love it, that’s why we line up in the cold, the wet, the mist. To challenge ourselves to the absolute limit. And without a shadow of a doubt, MacTuff delivers on that.
Every single racer that crossed the line today was truly deserving of that finishers medal.
It was a brutal course and put together absolutely spectacularly. Alex, and his team should be very proud of what they delivered today. From the obstacles to the marshals to the parking and the smooth transition from car to finish line it was all very well done.
I had serious race envy watching today, even the mist and freezing cold water isn’t enough to scare me, and I cannot wait to be apart of the next race. If I can get my out of shape arse into gear and train that is!
Thank you MacTuff for allowing us injured, out of shape spectators to have a fabulous day out.
Fastest Male – Conor Mcgourt 1:24:04
Fastest Female – Nicola Callison 1:51:26
Tim Chad – 9th overall 1:34:02
Jason Fox – 43rd overall 2:00:22
Warrior Fit Standings
Paul Fisher – 39th overall 1:57:12
Jamie Chalmers – 46th overall 2:02:01
Phil Cunningham – 70th overall 2:14:58