Sunday saw the first of Niamh’s challenges roll around and we travelled to Kincardine to take on Tartan Warrior

This event wasn’t part of our original plan but a friend gifted us her tickets after becoming unable to run and with a typical ‘well what’s more race’ attitude it was suddenly firmly in the diary. 

It was a different sort of race from my perspective, we ran the whole thing together and it was amazing to watch her overcome the obstacles on her own without any assistance from myself. Whenever she has run before I have either been out racing myself or have just seen her off at the start. She truly is amazing. And that’s not a typical parent brag although I am massively biased obviously. 

We arrived at the first wall obstacle of the day and presented with both adult and child options she declared quite confidently that she was going over the big wall, which was 6ft. Now Niamh is quite a petite 8 year old and so I assumed she would need a foot up at least. Wrong. She scaled it with ease and hopped down the other side before I even had a chance to try and catch her. 

And this pattern of determination and resilience repeated itself all the way round the course. The only point I was actually required was when we got to the tyre carry about 3.5km into the race and she faltered lightly, asking me to help her carry her tyre for about 30m. When we returned to the drop off point I was ready to continue running but she stopped and started doing burpees. The Marshall at the station was lovely and advised her she didn’t need to do them to which she replied that no, she hadn’t completed her obstacle and so she had to do 5 burpees, as we had been instructed on the start line. 5 burpees later and she was off again, jumping through every muddy puddle she could find on the way. 

Considering she had never run 5km before this race she did remarkably well, coming in at a very respectful 45:57 on the clock. And there were some big obstacles between the start and finish line – a traverse wall, overhang wall, and ninja rings to name three out the 15 obstacles in our path. 

We set out to have a fun morning and that we did. It wasn’t until we reached the tyre flip and someone mentioned she was the first ‘wee’ girl to come through that I realised she might be in with a podium shot. 

Not that she was in the least bit bothered. She was more interested in how exactly we would inform the Sick Kids that she had completed her run than the fact she had won her age group.

For a first race we couldn’t have asked for better. The weather was perfect and the race itself wasn’t so busy that she was lost in a crowd or overwhelmed. The course had good sections where she had to run and obstacles that challenged her enough that it wasn’t a complete walk in the park – she was so tired she fell asleep in the car on the way home! 

So race #1 is done – only around 11 more to go! 

She assures me she will start going to running club soon but the very fact she is keen and excited by it is incredible and is more than enough. When she first came to me and said she wanted to do 9for9 I didn’t think it would come to anything. I honestly thought she would forget. But it seems a certain weekend in the Lakes last year being let lose on the Total Warrior site while we all raced has left its mark. She seems to have found her passion. Long may it continue…

Because the fun is in the mud and the adventure is found on top of 6ft walls and A Frames…

If you like to sponsor Niamh then you can do so here –

Onwards to #2…