We’ve had a busy few weeks, what with Runstock and Shark Life. And this weekend was no different.
We headed to Bramham Park, Leeds for the first of three Total Warrior weekends this year. It’s no secret that the Total Warrior races are our favourite and with injury sadly sidelining me this weekend, I switched into the role of volunteer while #1 and #2 battled it out on the newly formed junior warrior course.
When I enquired way back in March if there was an easy way to enter Niamh into all 6 junior races I think the team were a bit surprised, turns out no one else had asked the question. Because TW are awesome a season pass was swiftly arranged and she was booked in for both Saturday and Sunday.
#2, who was feeling miffed at being left out of the Runstock madness was a last minute sign up and so we decided to make a weekend of it and dragged #3 along for the weekend too.
We’re becoming pros at the camping malarkey and arrived on site early Saturday morning, raring to go.
We had friends running in the adult race and because the girls weren’t racing until 12:30pm we were able to see them all start and finish, which was amazing. Having not been on the spectating side of a race before it was incredible to be able to cheer Paul into 4th place (3rd in his age group), followed by a top 20 finish for Scott and a 3rd place female finish for Anna. Normally I finish miles behind these guys so it was adrenaline inducing to say the least to watch the finishes.
Then it was over to the minis. We didn’t realise beforehand that a multiple lap option was available so we had only prepped for 2km each. Niamh sailed round her first lap taking first girl, and second over the line overall. When she discovered the boy in front of her was going again she swiftly ran out with him. Erin finished as 4th girl and decided another lap was well within her grasp so off she went too.
#3 and I were marshalling on the finish line and I’ve never felt prouder watching every single one of the children finish yesterday. There was a real mix of competitive and casual runners and each and every one crossed the line with a smile on their face.
This is the first year TW have included a junior race and they hit the nail on the head. The 2km course had 10 obstacles in all, showcasing junior friendly versions of adult obstacles such as mud moguls and the log carry. There were 4 walls which increased in height followed by a slide and with three pretty steep inclines it was a gruelling course all round.
Niamh came through her second lap just in front of George and immediately announced she was going for a third lap. George was going for six laps due to being too young for the adult race but capable of completing the same distance. They ran the third lap together and we made the decision to end her Saturday race there, wanting to keep something in her legs for today. She wasn’t completely onboard with this decision however and promptly announced she’d be going for six laps the next day.
Waking up today #1 was still absolutely certain she was going for six laps – 12km in total. I was uncertain, thinking she’d get out for her first lap and be too tired to continue.
Not the case. She absolutely destroyed her first lap coming through in just under 9 minutes as first girl again. Straight back out for her second lap I floated between the finish line and the three finishing obstacles in order to catch her in action and offer support. Niamh is keen, and she’s very good but she’s still only 8 and so the biggest priority for me at any point in her race is whether or not she has actually had enough regardless of if she wants to continue or not.
Today however she proved me wrong, again. She completed all 6 laps with absolute ease, and showed yet again that her drive and determination is up there with the best.
Erin managed to lose both her shoes in the mud, which was added to from yesterday, the course managers deciding the kids on Saturday didn’t finish quite muddy enough, but she still had an absolute ball and finished smiling as always.
With Sunday done she completed 18km in total over the weekend, completing the furthest distance run by any junior and equalling the adult distance today.
The Total Warrior team were amazing all weekend and they arranged a special prize giving for her at the end to celebrate her achievement. She’s fast but she’s humble and burst into tears when presented with her prize.
So with only Weekend of three done our expectations have hit the stratosphere. The course was flawless, the volunteers were incredible and a lot returned from yesterday and were there cheering her on as she completed her sixth lap. It’s the volunteers that really make an event and they didn’t disappoint this weekend. Total Warrior have yet to make a mistake and this is the fourth weekend we’ve attended.
So we’re six races into the nine, and she’s got no plans to stop.
She’s incredible and she makes me so so proud, they all do.
Onwards to the next race…