Issue 11 – The Weekender
The JCB Mud Run has a specially designed five-mile course littered with over 30 obstacles. The event takes place on the JCB estate near the World Headquarters in Staffordshire and entry fees go toward raising money for the NSPCC.
The Countrywide Great Tour 2015 – Entire UK Coastline, Saturday 4th July
The Great Tour is the ultimate cycling adventure in Britain, a 64-day circumnavigation of our glorious British coastline. This epic challenge draws in every coastal town, village and city to present Britain’s greatest scenic views.
THE OSS Bantham Swoosh – 5th July
The Bantham Swoosh is a 6km swim in a sandy-bottomed estuary in Devon. The estuary is shallow and crystal clear, giving swimmers the sensation of snorkeling over sand ridges, fallen leaves and seaweed as they swim.
Maidenhead Half Marathon – 6th September
Over 3,000 runners are expected to tackle the 13.1-mile route around Maidenhead and the surrounding countryside. The event is perfect for those looking for a new health and fitness goal for 2015 and the course has been designed for fast times – it was voted in the top three for ‘PB Potential’ at the Runners’ World Races of the Year Awards in 2013.
Ben Nevis Challenge – 18th September
Begin a six-eight hour hike at the Visitor Centre in Fort William and follow a route that boasts some of the best scenery Britain. From the summit you can see the rock spires of the Isle of Skye and Loch Linnhe down to the Irish Sea. Package includes two nights’ bed and breakfast, two nights’ evening meals, a packed lunch on walking day and qualified mountain leaders and first aiders. Money raised go towards the Breast Cancer Campaign.
The Adrenaline Rush race on Aske Moor, near Richmond, North Yorkshire was to take me through a challenging 8km off-road run through woodland, marsh, bog, uphill and down dale, followed by an 800-metre assault course used for the Krypton Factor TV show.
With around 90 runners at the start line (one commented on a wind chill factor of -4°C), this race is on a smaller scale and is an ideal way to start the season or for people new to OCR wanting to test their mettle. This especially, as all participants were taken on a tour of the assault course and given advice on techniques and proper landing to avoid injury.
The course was very well marshalled, so instead of concentrating on staying on course at all times, it was all about enjoying the location of this private estate right next to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. For challenging hills, coupled with incredible scenery, you’d be hard pushed to find much better than Yorkshire.
If the trail run to start wasn’t enough for you to lose all feeling in your extremities in the glorious Great British weather, the fun really began with the assault course, which included high walls with rope assists, a fireman’s pole, high and low logs, monkey bars, balance beams, ankle to waist deep wades, cargo nets and mud crawls to get you to the home straight, all topped off with a fast-as-you-can sprint finish. The race is designed and run by ex-parachute regiment soldiers after all. Racers merely looking to increase their medal collection will be disappointed, but for a £25 entry fee it’s seriously hard to knock. Plus, the race is partnered with The Soldiers’ Charity, so you know your contribution is going to a worthy cause.
Top tip? For taking part in these kinds of races, get yourself some decent shoes designed for off-road that are also good for tackling a variety of OCR obstacles. This was my first time outing in my Inov8 X-Talon™ 212 and I’d recommend them as a great all-rounder with fantastic grip in mud.