So it was a reasonably hot summer’s morning and I was up bright and early in anticipation for the event ahead. It was the first time I’ve taken part in Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest but I’ve heard so much about it mainly through my annual subscription to Men’s Health and from the plaudits it’s received from my OCR racing buddies. I also knew it wouldn’t be an easy ride considering it’s a Rat Race event.
In all honesty I didn’t really know what to expect but I tried my hardest to scope out the sort of obstacles I’d come up against through the website and the plethora of reviews I’d found online. What was common knowledge and what I believe was relatively new was the various ‘zones’ along the course; the x-treme zone, industrial zone and the playground to name a few.
For a 10k obstacle course race I wasn’t really sure on the time I should be aiming for but knew I’d be happy with anything less than an hour and a quarter. I opted for the 12 o clock wave which was purely based on the fact my teammates had signed up earlier than me and opted for this time rather than my inherent laziness and wanting that extra lie in on the weekend.
News came in of the first finisher in the elite wave – 39 minutes? Are you kidding me?! I’d be happy to get that without the obstacles let alone with!
Registration was swift and the £2 bag drop point was easy to find and well marshaled. The warm up was led by a trainer from British Military Fitness and it included the usual jogging on the spot, jumping jacks and squat jumps. This was concluded with a well put together VT to remind of us the rules of the event and once finished we had the countdown before setting off.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course but must say that compared to the other obstacle course races I’ve taken part in such as Spartan, there was a lot more running involved with there being obstacles at the start for the first km or so before running at least 5/6km with the odd wall and slide here and there until the main zones. Whether you like this structure or not I guess comes down to personal preference! I did love the variation to the monkey bars as it switched to knotted rope and even beer kegs.
My only negative is that the monkey bars at the end were extremely hard to do with wet hands regardless of gloves, after being soaked before and I would have liked to see them at the beginning where I could have given them a ‘proper’ go. I have a couple of highlights which of course has to be the huge inflatable slide and the Gladiatoreqsue travelator right at the end.
All in all I’d definitely recommend it and if you’re looking for an OCR event to break you in then do give this one a go! If you’re more serious and you’re looking to stack up points for the OCR league table then even more reason to as this one is established and recognised by the governing body.
As with every post, do let me know if you have any questions or even what your thoughts on the event were whether you did it in 2016 or before.