A feeling of excitement and nervousness took over me as soon as my alarm went off. I was excited to be doing another event, ticking them off is an incredible feeling. However, after the last horrendous obstacle course event I was dreading that it would be the same horror.
The support crew and I crammed into to little Mini with take away coffees in hand to drive the couple of hours to Pippingford park. Just enough time for my emotions to go up and down. We arrived at the park with no drama but were stopped at the gate to pay for car parking. We were all slightly outraged considering the high price of the event itself but needs must. Instantly the atmosphere was fantastic, music blaring, friendly competitors, others looking nervous, others looking highly confident, first-timers and pro obstacle course runners all getting ready for the start.
The starting area was electric, it was extremely well organised. Snacks were given out, your race number was written on your face and instructions being bellowed out by a very loud tannoy. Will and I were in the first wave of racers starting at 11am. 10minutes before the start we were asked to go not the starting pen for a safety brief and then a warm-up. The warm up was given by very fit looking personal trainers. They had us running around, jumping up and down and crawling all over the floor. The warm up was hard! All runners were now very warm and already muddy. I suppose if you were not happy with the mud in the starting pen you probably were in the wrong race.
The start was announced by a few famous faces; Mike Tindall, Will Greenwood, Neil Back. Thanks lads. We were off into the swamp. The swamp was a lot warmer than I had anticipated; a positive start. Then straight into a river crossing; a this point I lost my gloves I was wearing, luckily I didn't end up missing them for the next 10km.
This event was much more about the natural terrain rather than the obstacles themselves. This made me feel in my comfort zone. The next big task was a huge hill. I LOVED it. I got my power walk on and overtook a lot of people. Then onto the high rope wall, these were my nemesis in the Nuts run because I could not feel my hands or feet, however I felt confident climbing over them.
The terrain was pretty rugged through streams, jumping over logs and wading through swamps but it was also pretty beautiful. The course was covered in a blanket of bluebells and the views from the high points were just stunning. Throughout the course there were really encouraging marshals, great signage to lead the way and also kilometre markers. The kilometres were flying by for me, I was smiling and my body had warmed up.
From quite a long way away I could hear splashing and running water. We had to climb over a high ledge. At this point I realised that we would we sliding down into the cold lake. The slide was great fun, the cold shock wasn't such great fun! I like swimming but then having to swim across the lake made it all a little more taxing. As I got out of the lake one of the marshals mentioned that was the first lake of three. Better to know I suppose.
The other two lakes came in quick succession, the second was a very deep long lake to swim across. Some people needed help from the safety kayakers. The third lake was yucky; we had to crawl through the lake due to the mud and weeds, if you tried to swim or walk you would sink into the bottom. The lakes were interspersed with a few other obstacles, some natural and some man-made, the hardest for me was the 20 meter long monkey bars. I am proud to say I got over half way before I fell off.
There now wasn't long to run before the end, the camaraderie was really strong at this point, some competitors were really struggling so we all provided many jokes about beers at the end. The last obstacle before the finish sprint was a steep slippery wall and then cargo net, I was worried with the crowd I wouldn't be able to get over it, however I managed to haul myself up and jump down, the last 100m's are always my favourite. The feeling of achievement and pride is huge. I crossed the finish line happy. The Wolf run was great, really well organised and worth the entry price. I was so pleased with myself I even brought a Wolf Run Dry Robe to keep myself warm and toasty before and after all of the events.
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