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The Weekender 21 – Choose Your Pain


Manchester Spartan Race

Manchester Spartan Race

Throw on your adventure kit and get ready to race this summer, as the Spartan Race hits Manchester with challenging force. Saturday June 25 will see crowds of eager Spartans and newbie obstacle racers head to Old Trafford Stadium to join in on the Reebok Spartan Sprint.
As the shortest distance available to Spartan racers, the Sprint is perfect for athletes of all levels, newcomers and fitness-phobes. The event will join Spartan first timers and seasoned racers in a bid to complete the three/five-mile sprint, tackling more than 20 Signature Spartan Obstacles. These may include the Rope Climb, Barbed Wire Crawl, Fire Jump, Spear Throw or Traverse Wall. Participants may land themselves in the ‘Burpee Zone’ having to complete perfectly executed push-up burpees as a consequence for failing to complete a certain obstacle. Sound challenging enough yet?

Despite the intense nature of this obstacle course event, the rewards on offer for those that complete the Spartan Sprint will make it all worthwhile. Not only will finishers get the satisfaction of completing these hectic obstacles, they will also receive a free beer at the finish line, a Badass Finishers Medal, free professional photographs and, of course, those all important bragging rights. Not to mention the race memorabilia, including a racer headband and finishers t-shirt, and with chip-timed race results for accuracy, you can challenge yourself and others for the fastest time to completion. Where do we sign up?!

For More Information Visit: www.spartan.com

Gung Ho

Gung ho

If you are looking to dip your toes in to the current craze of OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) but are looking for something a little tamer than Tough Mudder or Spartan, we may have found the perfect solution.
This 5k inflatable obstacle course, organised by BBC Children in Need, has fun written all over it.
Gung-Ho, currently undertaking a 12-stop tour of the UK, is a family-friendly 5k course coming to a town near you very soon. Enter and you’ll be encouraged to run, walk, bounce or giggle your way through ten crazy inflatable obstacles.
You’ll find gigantic ball pits, super-sized slides and a 5,000 square foot inflatable moon walk to run, crawl or climb over.
Each course is 5k long, and you don’t need to be a fitness expert to take part. Children (taller than 123cm) are welcome and the focus here is on fun rather than winning times.
Cross the finish line and you’ll get your finisher’s t-shirt and headband, which you can wear with pride. Did we mention this is all for a good cause, too?
So what are you waiting for? Grab your mates and sign up to a race near you.

Sign up online: www.begung-ho.co.uk/

Event Schedule 

  • KENT, Brands Hatch – Saturday 4 June
  • EDINBURGH, The Meadows – Saturday 11 June
  • WEST MIDLANDS, Sandwell Valley – Saturday 18 June
  • NEWCASTLE, Newscastle Racecourse – Saturday 2 July
  • MILTON KEYNES, Willen Lake – Saturday 9 July
  • LIVERPOOL, Stanley Park – Saturday 16 July
  • LONDON WEST, Royal Windsor Racecourse – Saturday 10 September
  • NOTTINGHAM, Wollaton Park – Saturday 17  September

Newlife Wing Walk

Newlife Wing Walk

Fancy something different? A bit more exhilarating, perhaps? Why not take to the skies and try a wing walk, a unique fundraising challenge in aid of the Newlife Foundation.

Professionally organised by Aerobatic Tactics – the only company in the UK with permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to legally offer wing walking experience flights to the general public – you’ll be able to do something few people experience.

You can invite as many friends and family to watch, and they’ll enjoy a viewing area complete with cafeteria serving food and drink until late afternoon, meaning they’ll be in comfort when you’re not! The whole experience will take just 90 minutes, but you can stay at the airfield to enjoy the atmosphere of the day.

Before you flight, you receive a comprehensive ground and safety briefing, which includes the necessary fitness/waiver declaration. Don’t worry, Aerobatic Tactics adheres to strict regulations introduced by the Civil Aviation Authority in October 2013. Their professional team of pilots and ground crew undergo regular training and meet stringent operational requirements to ensure that your experience is safe, legal and enjoyable.

Once strapped into the five-point harness you will take off for the ultimate experience that will include zooms and climbs at speeds up to 130mph, and with passes near to friends and family.
You will also receive a certificate confirming – and proving to doubters – you have participated. Of course, not everyone will be able to take part. For example, if you with more than 77kg you won’t be able to fly, but you can find all the necessary disclaimers at the link below. We also recommend a spare pair of pants you know, just in case…

Event on: 13 August

For More Information Visit: www.newlifecharity.co.uk

summer sportRat Race Crossing

1-3 July/Lake District to the Yorkshire Moors

Not for the faint-hearted, this event covers 200 miles over three days, taking cyclists through the Lake District and on through the Yorkshire Dales before heading across the North Yorkshire Moors. Participants will visit two beautiful coastlines, sampling some of UK’s best mountain biking routes along the way whilst soaking in the exceptional scenery.


The Clennel Colossus

12 June/Northumberland National Park

Offering two routes, this mountain biking challenge is set amongst the rolling hills of the Northumberland National Park, meaning beautiful jaw-dropping scenery for those looking to take part. With 25-mile and 50-mile routes to choose from, cyclists can expect challenging uphill climbs to get the muscles burning and heart racing. Forest tracks, single trails, grass and mud is all to be expected with this one.


The Leicestershire Super Tour

Sunday 26 June/Leicestershire

Covering almost a complete circuit of Leicestershire, this sportive combines the tough hills of Charmwood forest with various rolling and flat sections across this stunning area, allowing riders to take complete advantage of the scenery. With four routes on offer – 112, 90, 70 and 50 miles – and an additional 5km run for triathletes at the end of each distance, this event offers something for everyone.


Colour Obstacle Rush

25 June/ Sheffield

An exciting and vibrant 5k colour run that is jam-packed with brand new obstacles, including an inflatable colouring station among many other ‘secret’ obstacles. Expect sponge balls, space hopper racing, colour blasting Mad Max chasing, foamy slip’n’slides, balance beams and water balloon mayhem. Release your inner child for the day and have some fun!


Water Wipeout

9 July/Nottinghamshire

The wettest muddy fun run in the UK! Offering both a 5k and 10k course, and hosted in the National Water Sports Centre in Nottinghamshire, this event will challenge aqua-phobes and excite water babies. Expect water slides, tightropes, tunnels, hurdles, cargo nets, spider’s webs, balance beams and an assault course, as well as much more.


Time to Toughen Up

With the mother of all outdoor fitness events approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to share my experience, and how I came to find that physical training alone just simply wasn’t enough to tackle the 12-mile obstacle course that is Tough Mudder.

You will have read about the event in previous issues, of course, and you’ll know there are no winners, losers, or clocks to beat. Funnily enough, the biggest obstacle you’ll face is yourself.

When it came to training for this particular event, I tried everything from long distance running to powerlifting. Anything that could help prepare me for the obstacles I would face, including the over head pulling movements, the 12-mile stretch of uphill mud mountains, ditches, and the messy mud mile. Obviously this all helped to an extent, but there was simply no way of preparing for a 10,000-volt electrocution, tear gas or the horrific Ice Bath Obstacle!

For me, this event is the only one I have participated in where I felt everyone worked together as a team to get through it. I found myself throwing people over obstacles, standing on random shoulders, pulling people up vertical walls, even carrying people at one point!

Follow me on Twitter @Kurtisstaceyks

I have completed a fair few events and challenges over the last year but this one is definitely the one I am most proud of. Although you can’t completely rely on your fitness alone for an event like this, I have written a circuit you could do to prepare. The circuit is based on the muscle groups you would be most likely to use. You should stick to doing high-intensity circuits, as the physical and mental challenge of pushing yourself through a circuit is the closest you will come to having this kind of experience in the gym.

Repeat the following circuit three times or until failure. This circuit should take around 40 minutes to complete.