Bestfit Issue 17 – The Weekender
Adrenaline rush Manchester
As an obstacle race, The Adrenaline Rush promises just that; heart-pumping, sweat-dripping fun whilst you focus on tackling all obstacles set within a two-hour timeframe.
Located within Manchester’s Heaton Park, this event offers a truly picturesque setting for all the adrenaline junkies taking part. The park will host a number of different Adrenaline Rush obstacles; the combination of these vary from race to race, and are dependent on the location itself. Typical obstacles include wading through ‘Water Torture’ water pits, crawling along the ‘Para Abnormal’ suspended rope, ‘Running the Gauntlet’ through a giant pillow fight and mustering up the courage to take the ‘Leap of Faith’. So far this event has promised mud trenches, ring grappling, slides and outdoor container runs, air bags and a 5km run; all of which sound a lot better when you consider that this event will take place during the summer.
Those taking part will do so in waves; the first three waves will complete a 10k course, and the last three will complete a shorter 5k course. Entries can be made as both individuals and teams; there can be no better team bonding exercise than pulling each other up on to the ‘Half Pipe’ or shouting out encouragement when facing ‘Everest’.
For more details and to enter: www.theadrenalinerush.com/venues/manchester
London to Paris Cycle
For those of you looking to shake the dust off your bike and join in on something truly challenging yet incredibly rewarding, this is the event for you.
To raise funds for St Gemma’s Hospice – the largest of its kind in Yorkshire – cyclists will saddle up to take on a sponsored ride from London to Paris over four days, averaging at 77 miles a day and totalling around three hundred miles once crossing the finish line.
After leaving the bustle of London, participants will cycle through the beautiful Kent countryside on their way to Dover, before crossing the Channel and continuing on through the breathtaking scenery of the Northern French countryside. Along the way, cyclists will see war memorials and cemeteries of the Somme, making this ride a very interesting one. For a truly memorable end to an epic ride, cyclists will finish up underneath the iconic Eiffel Tower before taking a trip up to the top to snap up some celebratory tourist photos.
All those taking part will have the full support of the St Gemma’s Hospice team, so all you need to do is cycle on and take in the sights. There are three different dates available for this challenge, including the Tour de France July special; here, riders will complete the last few miles of the Tour de France route through Paris, before spending the following day at the Champs-Elysees to enjoy the live final stage action of the race.
Sounds like a perfect way to end this exciting event.
Airfield Anarchy Frostbite
There seems no better way to shake off those winter blues, cure the cabin fever and embrace the outdoors than with an obstacle course on an airfield, in February; because obstacle racing wasn’t challenging enough without a little cold weather thrown in..
Located on Newark Showground, the Frostbite course is 8km long for one lap; runners have the option of doing two. The course has been designed to fit over 60 obstacles in to just one lap, including Airfield Anarchy’s signature obstacles. This means that participants will barrel down the 30ft high ‘Take Off’ water slide into an icy muddy lake; with the help of local fire engines, runners will slip and slide down the 100ft ‘Slide Away’; to test co-ordination, strength and core skills, ‘Anarchists’ will also have to scale the slippery ‘Monkey Bars’ to avoid the pool of mud that lies beneath it. These and many other obstacles will make sure that those taking part get soaked through and covered in mud. This event offers good fun, a sense of achievement and a chance to be a team player; you can enter as a team or individually, but either way expect to need a helping hand from fellow runners.
The first wave of entrants will set off at 9am and the last three hours later, due to lack of daylight hours. The venue will include an event village packed with refreshments for anyone looking to watch the mess unfold; a great excuse to bring the family along to watch you get stuck in.
For more information visit: www.airfieldanarchy.com/frostbite
Ellie Runs… Nuclear Races
On a rainy november day in a muddy field in Essex, the UK’s top ocr athletes lined up ready to take on the first ever independent uk ocr championship. Bestfit’s Ellie Hallsworth took part…
Hosted by the infamously challenging Nuclear Races (and also home to the Guinness World Record Longest Monkey Bars) it was 12KM+ of challenging terrain with 130 tough obstacles designed to test the best UK OCR athletes to their absolute limits.
This race wasn’t for the faint-hearted. To take part, entrants had to qualify at any one of 12 OCR nationwide events over the course of the year. The elite wave pulled together the top ten male and female finishers from each qualifying race, meaning pressure was high and competition stiff.
The rules were simple; complete each and every obstacle without help from other runners or marshals. Each runner was given a green wristband, which you lost if you failed an obstacle. If you lost your wristband, you went on to run purely for time in a separate ranking, with time penalties being handed out for each additional obstacle fail.
Competing in the elite wave and the first of the day, I felt extremely lucky to be there. The Nuclear course is infamous on the OCR scene for its constant innovation and the UK Championship definitely set a new bar for OCR in the UK.
It turned out to be the muddiest, wettest and most energy-sapping physical test I could have imagined. The course was testing in all the ways it needed to be, but with the right training and technique, none of it was impossible. Race organisers had been working tirelessly to put this together and a few new obstacle challenges were devised, some of which had never before been seen in the UK.
Highlights for me included the Isotope, also known as ‘Dragon’s Back’ for its similarity to Toughest Race’s version, where you jump a leap of faith between raised platforms. The Ring Traverse, which you’ll recognise from ITV’s Ninja Warrior and 2015 Tough Mudder events, is where you’re given two rings to use to get across a raised triangular frame by hooking your rings into protruding pegs. The Rig, which was a raised structure above water you had to get across using a mixture of ropes, a trapeze bar and a horizontal bar. Not forgetting the worst cargo nets in the world, a relentless energy-sapping test of crawling over jagged dried mud and rocks on your hands and knees.
The most challenging aspect of the day turned out to be the weather. The rain, cold and wind made the obstacles even more muddy and slippery, which upped the difficulty level significantly, and with a lot of queuing in the cold for obstacle re-tries, there were many cases of people being pulled off the course with hypothermia.
This is a race that is essential to train for as many aspects required solid upper body strength and a good technique to complete. I found that I struggled with many obstacles I usually would have found less of a challenge, due to the added endurance factor of being so exhausted from the relentless course.
The wristband aspect of the race added an element of psychological pressure, which made you pause to compose before each obstacle and think about strategy. As you were allowed unlimited re-tries to complete an obstacle, it created a theatre of emotion, sheer determination and inspiring encouragement on a level that I had never witnessed before.
If you’re interested in qualifying for the 2016 UK OCR Championships, see the Obstacle Course Racing Association (OCRA) UK’s website for details www.ocrauk.org.uk. More information on Nuclear Races can be found on their website www.nuclear-races.co.uk