The Warrior Adrenaline Race (WAR):
” A tough 10k run across Dunstable Downs including lots of obstacles, hills and muddy terrain…The obstacles and course are designed by our Ex-Army Physical Training Instructors who used similar courses to get our troops fit!”
When Laura suggested we take part I tried to think of an acceptable reason to politely decline her offer but I really couldn’t think of one. So I had to say yes.
Obstacle courses require upper body strength, balance, control, co-ordination and a strong core. I have none of these things. I am exceptionally bad at obstacle courses…
We got a team of 4 together and named ourselves Team Holy Moly after Laura exclaimed, ‘Holy moly what have we done?! It seemed apt. In a pitiful attempt to prepare for the event we got together for a couple of self run ‘boot camp’ sessions in Green Park (this allowed the Queen to watch us).
We attempted a series of sprints, burpees, planks, push-ups, star jumps, tricep dips, hanging from a tree like a monkey (vital for monkey bar success), making human tunnels and crawling through them (vital skill for avoiding barbed wire in the bum) and running like Phoebe from Friends (vital for laughter and attracting strange looks from tourists). Try it – I dare you!
However, I wasn’t convinced our 2 sessions would quite be enough to grant us true Warrior status…
We went up to Leighton Buzzard on the Friday night train with a can of M&S Pina Colada/G&T (very Warrior like) and stayed with Laura’s family who were very hospitable and fed us big plates of pasta and red wine to prepare us.
It was a fairly easy trip to Dunstable Downs in the morning but it was a large open space so very windy and cold!! At registration they gave us a WAR body sticker/tattoo thing with your wave number on instead of a number, so I stuck it to my cheek. Quite a good idea really – my race number in the Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest was ripped off in the early stages of the race!
There was also an army dude with camouflage face paints making everyone look like Warriors so we got into the spirit of things.
Team Holy Moly got involved with the warm up and at 10.30 our wave set off. We started running in a zig zag on the grass (the whole course was off road) before reaching the first obstacle – giant steps. There were a couple more, including a barbed wire crawl, run up a hill with a weighted bergen and a ladder thing before a stretch of running.
There was actually more running than I had anticipated, I think it was because the obstacles were grouped together rather than spaced evenly but it definitely seemed like more than Survival of the Fittest. I didn’t mind though, even the hills, the running was the bit I could actually do!
For the next obstacle you had to pull yourself up a steep slope with a rope, get over the top and climb down the other side. Simple? Maybe for most people but my foot slipped, I went splat and had to be yanked up by the army dude. Everyone gave me a cheer when I reached the top though!
There was a stretch of running with a log (for some reason I picked a big one?!), a spider web thing which hurt if you got pinged by it, some balance challenges and tunnels as well as some fairly steep hills to run up. When we reached the Monkey Bars I was relieved to see another army dude helping people across. I definitely would have fallen off by myself – turns out hanging from trees isn’t the best preparation after all…who knew?
Barbed Wire Crawl…
When we got towards the end of the running we got to the bigger obstacles and, as this was near the finish area, lots of spectators! One of these involved climbing some scaffolding (no problem) and jumping off onto a big crash mat 5 meters below (problem).
Not sure what happened but I was up there for several minutes before jumping off – jumping off and kneeing myself in the face upon landing after ignoring instructions (well, I didn’t actually ignore them, my body just didn’t do what I told it so it wasn’t my fault)
Zip Wire…(I don’t know who this is but it’s the only picture I could find!)
Team Holy Moly waited for me so, with bruised face, we went off to the firemans pole (which I skipped like a loser and now wish I hadn’t), zip wire (so much fun), freezing cold dip tank (which involved ducking under logs 3 times, brrrr), a slide on a big mat (weeeeeeee), some more crawling and paintball!!
Paintball wasn’t on the list of obstacles so I’m guessing this was the unspecified ‘new obstacle’ – they gave me a helmet and I sprinted across the danger zone narrowly avoiding getting hit. Unfortunately Laura and Helen both took a paintball to the leg and ended up with lumpy bruises – ouch.
Finally there was the big wall and then the finish line. Team Holy Moly completed the challenge – wet, cold & dirty!
The Warrior Adrenaline Race was fun! There’s a 5k or 10k option with people setting off in several waves to help keep congestion on the course to a minimum. There was about a 5 minute wait at one of the obstacles but the rest were fairly quick moving. I thought it was quite well organised with all the obstacles manned with at least 1 army dude who were willing to help if needed.
The only complaint I would have is the lack of water – there was 1 water station on the route but there were no drinks at all at the end which I thought was quite poor. We did get a medal and a t-shirt though.
The only thing that’s worrying me now is what’s next for Team Holy Moly, I have a feeling it’s not over yet…