Not ideal preparation for this one I must say… 2 weeks off training due to a virus. Last Tuesday I managed 3miles followed by 4 miles on Thursday, heart rate still high and legs incredibly stiff! So with MudRunner Oblivion fast approaching I had a dilemma, to run and get round or to go all out and race…bet you can’t guess which one I opted for!
Matt James and I arrived at 10ish and learnt through one of the organisers that 1400 people had entered for the event! !10 minutes to the start we noticed Mike Link warming up and proceded to the start line. For those who don’t know about MudRunner Oblivion, it is a 7 mile cross country race, starting in the deer park at Eastnor and running up to the obelisk at the highest point for a gentle start! There are also 9 obstacles on the route, failure to complete an obstacle leads to a forfeit.
The race started in waves of 200 mud monkeys, straight up to the obelisk, Matt James stormed away from the start with another runner in pursuit. I started slightly more reserved still unaware of how I would perform. First obstacle was a deep bog swamp which I trudged through gaining on mud monkeys ahead. Obstacle 2, the fences, 5 tall fences to clamber over followed by a steep bank, I was now 3rd! This was great, but I would I last?
The third obstacle was a series of flooded tracks, some of which had logs which you could either go over or under (not through Kevin) spread over the course of 2 miles. Fourth obstacle saw mud monkeys, struggle over logs upon a steep track (it doesn’t sound hard but you couldn’t really get into a proper rhythm) , down to the sixth, (the fifth having been a combination of logs laid out at different heights and wonky angles) the cargo net. Again it doesn’t sound hard, but I struggled due to the fact that I lost a contact lense at this point!!
Obstacle number seven, still within the woods of the deer park, had a pathway of ropes tied across which runners had to duck, jump, step over, fall over in my case, I was still 3rd at this point and starting to feel tired, lack of exercise over the last few weeks was taking its toll! I was been hunted down by 4th, who duely caught me at the start of the infamous obstacle 8, the monkey bars! The 4th place runner made it look easy, I however struggled and didn’t even make half way! Back to the start of the obstacle, I tried again, this time I did make it half way…but no further! Failure to complete the bars lead to a forfeit of running an extra little loop. While I was half through my extra loop and looking red faced at the embarressment infront of a large crowd, Cliff Berry had just arrived at the monkey bars and completed them too, just what I needed! I had now lost 2 places and was down to 5th with less than a mile to go.
I couldn’t catch Cliff back up, not even through the first lake crossing (obstacle 9), or up the wet steep high mud bank, nor through the crazy maze (10)…nor through the second 30metre lake crossing! I finished 5th and just like everyone else, soaking wet and covered in mud and blood.
Matt James took first place on the back of no training and Mike Link finished excelled in 7th.
Although 5th out of 1400 seems a great result I was still dissapointed that I hadn’t kept hold of 3rd.