Saturday, 2 March 2013


Have you ever watched people running a race and thought that you could never do such a thing? It just seems like too much for such a unfit sack of spuds like myself.  I know that I have thought this many times.

But this morning I ran my first 10k race and it wasn't just any 10k.
This was a race called The Major and is run by British Military Fitness. Basically it is organised by serving British Army soldier and fitness instructors and is through woodland and swamps.

There are twenty obstacles on the route including tunnels where you haver to crawl on your belly through mud and ice cubes, logs across streams that you haver to balance your way across.  Wires with electric currents running through them and barbed wire that have to be crawled under and loads of others.

My wife suggested we both enter as a challenge to ourselves and I have done some training for it but nowhere near enough.  I also invited my cousin along, he runs marathons regularly and has done the Men's Health Survivor race in London. He runs three times a week and is currently on a vegan diet.
Suffice to say he is very fit.

So we all set off in the cold March sunshine and before very long we were up to our waists is stinking  black mud, floundering around and falling into pits that had been dug previously by the soldiers.
It was like a scene from a war film. The guy next to me tripped over a submerged rock and went under, I grabbed him under the arms and pulled him out. Everyone had to help everybody else.

I managed to run the entire course but had lost track of time, I had seen my cousin power ahead fairly early on and lost sight of him and my wifer was further behind me. I lunged over the finish line and collected my meadl and stood waiting for my wife to finish.  To my immense surprise my cousin crossed the line four minutes after me, I had run past him at some point but as everyone was covered in mud I hadn't recognised him.

In all 1,066 people took part in the race.  I came 495th. This to me is an immense achievement and I had no idea I would be able to even run the entire course, let alone finish this well.  What I have learned from this is to push myself out of my comfort zone.  Train for something and you will find that you can achieve what you set out to do.

However I am now covered in cuts and bruises and my knees have swollen up. small price to pay.


YeamieWaffles said...

This is so awesome Tony, proud of you for even having the nerves to enter this and then go on to complete it, well done mate! I actually love the idea of the run too, a 10K run is hard enough to complete but with all those obstacles involved too that's even tougher, well done man!

Deus Ex Machina said...

Brilliant. Congrats. It's an awesome feeling to cross the finish line exhausted and caked in mud. The first race I ever ran was a 10K, but it wasn't an adventure race, just a regular old 10K. I was out of the whole scene for almost a year with a hamstring strain and a tibial stress fracture. Apparently, running 6 miles every single morning plays hell on one's body. Who woulda thunk it? My husband and I ran the Warrior Dash last April, and are planning on doing it again in July. Of course, I say that while sitting here with a heating pad on my right thigh. You should look into the Spartan Death Race ;-)

Janie Junebug said...

Well done, dude. I don't think you look like a sack of spuds, but don't tell your wife or Elvis Aaron Schwarz that I said so.


Brigitta Huegel said...

Congratulations! For entering, for having the stamina - and making such a good mark. Well done.

Kianwi said...

Wow, great job!! I have always wanted to do one of those races. You've inspired me to look for one. I'll be crap at it, but it doesn't matter, it just sounds fun! And I love nothing better than to have war injuries I can show everyone after I've done something hard :)

Pat Hatt said...

Awesome, never know what we can do until we try. Congrats on finishing so high up too, sure the pain is a small price to pay.

Francis Lee said...

Fecking well done sir, great achievement!

Juliette said...

A major achievement. To say you've never done this kind of thing before to come 495th is brilliant. I bet you felt really good after despite the war scars.

Well done Tony, I'm proud of you.

Rob Z Tobor said...

Well done to all three of you, but the word mad comes to mind.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Matthew: I thought I couldn't do it, but I could. You could too.

Deus: Spartan Death Race? Jesus.

Janie: I'll keep it to myself.

Brigitta: Thank you.

Kianwi: It doesn't matter how long you take or how crap you are at it. Loads of people ran the race for a laugh.

Pat: It is a well earned pain.

Francis: Cheers dude.

Juliette: Thanks for that, appreciated.

Rob: Mad in a good way.

Vapid Vixen said...

That is SO cool! I wish you had more pictures to post. I suppose you were a tad busy not getting your ass handed to you.
We have a race like that over here called the Tough Mudder. I thought it might be fun to do...until I read about the ice baths and the electrocution. Pass.

HUGE congratulations to you and wifey and cousin. Very impressive!

MRanthrope said...

Congrats sir. I've been into semi health/exercise stuff for the past few years but the thought of something like this is daunting to say the least. But that's how you and everyone feels before they tackle something like this im sure. David can't slay Goliath if he doesn't try right? Kudos again...inspiring stuff.

altadenahiker said...

Prettiest three faces I've seen all week.

Padded Cell Princess said...

Wow, 495th is really good! I think I probably would have died in the mud pit...

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Kelly Polark said...

That's amazing, Tony! Well done!! I've walked/run a 5K and I thought that was an accompishment! Will you do it again?

SkippyMom said...

Duly impressed my friend! I must have missed this when you posted it, but never too late to say CONGRATULATIONS! What an amazing feat for you, your wife and cousin. Very proud of you and inspired. Thank you.

Now I just may go looking for something similar here. Hmmmm. I like Dues' suggestion of Whoo boy, now that may be a bit much.

Again, congratulations and heal well and quickly!

Azra said...

Congrats on your awesome achievement Tony. Goes to show that the body can achieve anything the mind sets out to do.

Pk Hrezo said...

You should def be proud of yourself. HUGE accomplishment! My hubby always wants to try those races. I'm in no way a runner but I love physical challenges. You did awesome.

Nicki Elson said...

Congratulations! That is truly awesome.

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