I took part in the Bear Grylls 10k Survival Race held at Trent Park in London on the 30th September. I wasn’t able to participate in all the race obstacles, as it was a week apart from the Chicago marathon, so to avoid the risk of injury I couldn’t fully experience it. However I undertook the course with a team of eight (Mind over Mudder) and the views are mixture of the people who took part.
Before I start, I have to say it’s not advisable to do an obstacle course race (OCR) in your taper week, due to the risk of injury. Despite trying to be careful and going at walking, jogging pace, I still managed to trip over a tree root!
I almost saved the fall but my trailing leg said nope, your on your own! As I crumpled onto the ground… All of those months of marathon training flashed through my mind. Whilst falling I was praying that I would avoid injury. Thankfully after accessing things in a heap I was fine, and good to go.
Things to work on:
So I’ll start with the things that could be improved for the next race.
It was over the 10k distance. My Garmin and my friends GPS watch logged a distance over 7.5 miles.
There were no distance markers on the course. And there weren’t enough running marshals onsite.
Some water stations were empty.
I thought that some of the lakes in Trent Park, could of been utilised for the obstacles. However I don’t know what restrictions were placed on the organisers.
Overall the course path was well signposted, but there were some points where it wasn’t clear. So I think the signage could be improved for next year.
Some obstacles were closed due to bad weather from previous days, which is the right call for health and safety but I’m not sure if contingencies where made for alternative obstacles.
Lastly I’m gutted not to have not met the main man Bear Grylls, but maybe next year.
The good points:
There is a wide range of obstacles and distances, from the 30k Ultimate Survivor race, 10k race, through to the kids races.
There was a good number of obstacles for the 10k with approx. 35 obstacles. What made it unique was the 4+ BG Survival Challenges which I really enjoyed. Particularly the air rifle shooting range. There was a tiny metal target to hit and pinged once struck. I had several tries to hit it twice, otherwise there was forfeit. The first two tries I just missed by a whisker, but the steward gave me great advice and instructions, and with his help I hit the target twice.
Although I noted the thoughts about the lake, in fairness the organisers did pull out the stops with a total wipeout water event, which looked like a lot of fun.
From running solo most of the time in my marathon training, it was a lot of fun to take part in a team event. Thanks to my team mates, Mark, Becca, Laura, Erin, Evie, Liv and Caroline, despite me falling over it was good laugh to participate in this race with such a great group of people.
For families, friends etc. there’s lots of facilities for food, drink, entertainment and activities for everyone.
I’ve only done one OCR previously, and in comparison to Tough Mudder its more reasonable price wise, from early bird through to the final price.
And finally the opportunity to get very muddy!
Would I do it again?
Moving from solo running, into a team event I really did enjoy myself and for this reason I would run this race again. There’s good quality events and facilities also.
To find out more details about future races click on the link below.