Back in April I did my very first obstacle race, The Toughest. The Fempower group I ran with was awesome but I made the rookie error of not making sure that a change of clothes was available immediately after finishing. We had to wait close to an hour in our wet clothes, having started hyperventilating several kilometres BEFORE the finish line already. That kind of ruined that experience for me.
But then Fempower decided to do another obstacle race in August and I thought – it can’t be any colder (i.e. worse) than Tougher, I’m in!
I’m SUCH a sucker for discomfort.
Last Saturday morning we all squashed our 2XU covered butts into a minivan and drove somewhere far out of London where you could see the horizon from all directions. The setting was awesome but as soon as we arrived, crazy wind picked up and brought along dark clouds and rain!
We all laughed about it but secretly I’m sure we were all thinking WHATTHEF*CK.
Once our wave started though, lo and behold, the blue sky returned and with it – sunshine!
We started the 12km route across fields that had only recently been growing a crop of some sort. The scenery was great and the sun warmed us all up very nicely. So nicely in fact that when the first obstacles were conquered and quite a bit of running was done, the stream we had to walk in for quite a long distance felt very refreshing.
Compared to the Toughest, the obstacles were all doable. They were not mental Navy SEAL type of stuff, just climbing, crawling, jumping and in general just getting over various large contraptions, some requiring teamwork but mostly not.
There was also a lot of running in between, which I really enjoyed. At Toughest I felt like the entire time I was just crawling in mud or trying to climb ropes that were covered in mud and beyond slippery.
After each obstacle we’d all yell out our designated numbers to make sure we were all together and then ran off to the next challenge.
A few kms from the finish we had to swim through a lake with two obstacles in it, one involving going underwater and one involving hoisting yourself up onto a platform and then over a wall that was not higher than 6 foot.
That was my favourite part. The water was actually quite refreshing and climbing over and under stuff in a body of water makes you feel like a total badass.
After that we had to climb over a few more things, including a very high 10 foot wall a metre from the finish line. By then I had perfected my heel-hook wall-conquering technique and was over it like a ninja. I was allowed to go back to the other side and help others out. That wall was emotional for many but everyone got over it!
Once finished, we had a photo taken with Doug, the organiser of Dirty Dozen races, aka The Beard, and then quickly got changed in between some ambulances, flashing some people for sure, but ninjas don’t care about stuff like that.
Then food and coffee and sunshine and lots of selfies and giggles while we waited for the 6km Fempower group to finish.
The minibus ride back to London was full of pride and comparing of bruises and laughter and prosecco and donuts.
Fempower organises awesome events on a regular basis, if you want to get involved in a group of badass women, join us!