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.