Mudstacle Sprint Series: Wild Forest Gym
The 25th of May marked the start of the Mudstacle Sprint Series, hosted by Wild Forest Gym. A 2.2km course tightly compact with around 30 obstacles, the majority being very upper body specific so it was a killer on the arms.
Arriving (on time as per) at 8:00am sharp to register then meeting up with a few others, we eagerly awaited instructions from Michael Cohen who would lead us through today’s events.
We were first divided into groups and taken around the course to get familiar with it and to make sure we all knew where we were going, something i’d like to point out is pretty important as getting lost in the woods isn’t always fun, luckily for me though there weren’t any bears in these woods so i didn’t have to worry too much 😀
Anyway…It was an easy enough route to follow with white markers sticking out of the ground for the first 700m before the split for the “Trail Run” and “Obstacle Course”. You can probably guess which we had to follow.
After our little tour, which was gracefully taken by Caine Johnson might I add, we were allowed a play, sorry i meant practice, on the obstacles before the races begun!
***bonus info*** Little does FFC know, Brocket Gear has now taken Christie Wright under their orange wing.
Just kidding, you can have her back ;-D
So there were 20 heats of 4-5 people with a 2 minute gap between each heat, and the fastest 3 made it through to the quarter finals etc.
I was in heat 11 so i had a chance to watch the other heats shoot off and squeeze in a warm up, thinking i had more time that i actually had I watched as 3 guys shot off the starting line, at this point i knew my heat was coming up so I asked what heat had just left as i was wondering why there were only 3 (should have been 4) and i was told it was heat 11. I WAS LATE!!!
I shot off like a Brocket (excuse the pun) as the 3 guys in front already had the upper hand due to my lack of timing and concentration, what made it worse is i didn’t know who they were, so for all i knew they could have been semi-pro sprinters or clones of Jonathon Albon. Basically i had to put my foot down and move it because i really didn’t want to get knocked out during the heat stages.
Weaving through the forest like a rabid, orange squirrel I made up the places and got myself into 1st within the 700m run. I couldn’t ease up though as they could have been like monkeys over the obstacles, and with the tyre wall being the first of many i found myself being overtaken, i jumped down and was playing catch up again. Next up were the parallel bars, I opted for the double arm sliding technique (obviously the professional name for it) and I hopped back into 1st. After the monkey bars and rope climb i had managed to make a sizable gap on the other 3, and knowing i was doing this again shortly afterwards i didn’t want to be too burned out so i eased up a bit.
On to the quarter finals and I was up against a very familiar face but one i hadn’t seen for a while, none other than a Mr Stuart Parsons, of Muddy Kit. It’s always a great battle between the 2 of us so to be racing against him again was exciting. With no idea what either of us would be like on such a short and obstacle heavy OCR compared to the longer races we’re used to, i thought it best to try and gain a lead on him during the run before we hit the major obstacles.
I gained a small lead but he was always hot on my tail right when we came up to the obstacles, we were neck on neck on the rings and we entered the tyre squeeze at exactly the same time. As we approached the monkey bars, which had a rope traverse in the middle which was a definite game changer, I managed to pull away and gain a sizable lead. Over a large wooden structure and on to the rope climb, I had managed to climb to the top of the rope (7 meters high) just as Stuart was approaching, I slid down and knew now I should be safe with the quarter pipe to go followed by a short run to the finish. I managed 1st place in my quarter final but it was hard fought throughout to secure it.
I think Stuart came 2nd or 3rd which meant I would see him again in the semi final. His chance for revenge.
The competition was getting tougher and tougher each round and joining me in the semi final along with Stuart was Adam Teszke from Inov8 and Alex Loudon from MIT. I made sure I was ready and waiting on the start line as I didn’t fancy playing catch up with this lot.
Away we went with Adam leading, myself in 2nd and Stu and Alex not too far behind. Stuart was once again making me work hard as we were neck and neck on the rings but this time i managed to pull away from him straight after the tyre squeeze and keep a gap open from there for me to take 2nd and into the final.
I was up against teammate Ross, Adam Teszke, Shaun Bucknole and Tristan Steed. Michael Cohen decided to make the final a little more interesting and add in the 360 metre jump course straight after the obstacle course.
I set off quickly sitting behind Ross and Adam with Tristan and Shaun close behind, though this only lasted for a few hundred meters before my back started to hurt and a sharp pain was shooting through me as i ran. It was bearable but slowed me down. Ross, Adam and Tristan were now out of sight and it was between myself and Shaun for 4th place, I would lead on the running and Shaun would overtake on the obstacles, it played out like this until we hit the monkey bars where i managed to scurry across them quicker than Shaun and gain a decent lead.
Up the rope then over the quarter pipe, followed by a short run to the end of the obstacle course but continuing on to the jump.
This part of the day was by far my least graceful as by the end of it i was covered head to to in mud from managing to jump into most of the mud/water rather than over it like you’re intended to do (doesn’t sound very OCR to jump over the mud but it was the “jump” course after all). Either i was tired so didn’t have much energy to jump or it was karma telling me not to scoff a couple apple and black current pies earlier in the day. They were tasty pies though, so it was definitely worth it. Sainsbury’s finest.
Well done to Ross for winning and earning the WFG Male Legend tree stump, that’ll sit nicely on your mantel piece
A very different style of OCR which many of us aren’t use to, it made for a run yet intense race and one i’m looking forward to doing again.