Just like humans, wolves develop close relationships and strong social bonds and this is what I believe the Wolf Run is all about.
Usually when it comes to challenges I consider myself to be a lone wolf separating myself from the packs of people, trying to prove to myself that I can mentally and physically do it on my own. While that may be true for your average running challenges, this 10k battle through lakes, swamps, muddy ditches and man-made obstacles – each one more challenging than the next, forced me not only to push myself but to join the pack and soak up everything the Wolf Run had to offer.
What started out as a solo challenge soon turned into a huge team effort, making The Wolf Run a much more rewarding experience. Just two miles in I found myself encouraging others, lifting people out of ditches and helping non swimmers through the lakes. This not only boosted my need to push myself but also gave me the confidence to ask for help at certain points of the course. Everyone was on each other’s side; complete strangers encouraging one another and even in the torrential rain I didn’t see one person giving up on themselves or each other.
The most difficult parts for me were the pulling obstacles, such as the 10m Monkey Bars and Hit The Wall – a towering wall that relies completely on team effort. I think the most enjoyable part, which I think everyone will agree, was Landslide. This was what I can only describe as a massive slide, which requires you to literally run and jump head first into a pool of water!
I only had a couple of weeks to prepare for this challenge thanks largely to two recently dislocated shoulders whilst training. But what better way to challenge myself than a 6.2-mile obstacle course through piles of mud? Because of my injuries, preparation had to be different this time round. When it came to training my shoulders, all I could do was the rehabilitation exercises and stretches. This meant I was going to have to rely on my arm strength for this challenge. However, I knew if I perfected my cardio and leg training, that I wasn’t going to struggle with the distance, or obstacles such as Tyred Already – a 40m gauntlet of tyres – you had to run through and jump in and out of.
There are many different ways to train for a challenge like this based on your size, age etc, but I would say focus on long-distance interval training, body weight exercises – such as pull ups and press-ups – and explosive exercises such as squat jumps, box jumps and clean and press.