As you may have read before in my previous posts, I a) have hated obstacle course races in the past, b) scared of doing more obstacle course races, c) did I mention I don’t like obstacle course races? So, yes, it is fair to say I was pretty nervous about this day when it arrived but here’s what went down and what I thought about it…
Why would I sign up to an obstacle course race of my own free will if I dislike them so much? Well, when Healthy Living London was approached to join the Race for Life blogger team I decided that if I am participating in a race with such an incredible charity, I need to push myself out of my comfort zone to do it justice. I have been told dozens of times that my previous experience of an obstacle course race which had put me off was just a bad experience and that I would actually love them with better preparation and better circumstances… so this was the perfect time to face my fear. Everyone finds different things challenging, I’m comfortable running 5k/10k’s but obstacle course races are my own personal hurdle. I had been told that the Race for Life events are extremely friendly, relaxed and well organised which ticked all the boxes I required and it turns out they were correct, it was just SO MUCH FUN!!!
The Pretty Muddy race I attended was their Hammersmith one, held at the Wormwood Scrubs fields. I was in the first wave so was there pretty early but the atmosphere was already going, music blasting and a sea of ladies in pink getting ready to get muddy. I relaxed straight away, it was clear everyone was there to have fun and there was no real competitive edge, just enjoyment. Most ladies (this is a female only race) had signs on their back showing who they were running for and as far as you could see you could see names of loved ones and messages of love and determination that you can’t help but be motivated by.
The first wave was announced, lined up and we began…. now being the first wave the course was pretty clean and untrampled… so for the first 3k or so all the obstacles were fun but not too dirty. We had tyres to run through (pink tyres of course!) rope nets to climb, big inflatable hurdles to jump over, and elastic meshes to clamber through. Then…. things started to get increasingly muddy! Crawling through tunnels of mud, mud pits under elastic mesh (so you have no choice to get on in there in the dirt!!!) then the finale of the race is a rope net you climb up and slide down into the biggest pool of mud yet. All the obstacles were fun rather than challenging so suitable for all fitness levels and as you are running round you have people walking, jogging, skipping and more laughter than I’ve seen at any other race I’ve been to.
How Muddy is Pretty Muddy?
Overall I would 100% recommend this to anyone that wants to try their first obstacle course race and doesn’t want to take themselves too seriously. I will definitely be back with some of my girlfriends next year! The race is not timed and everyone is there for a good cause, to raise money and to enjoy themselves. The race was well organised, the waves of runners well executed so there was no annoying queueing around obstacles and there is a bag drop so you can have a good bag full of clothes to change into after the race when you are caked head to toe in mud. Or you could put a towel over your car seat and just drive home like i did…. I have never, ever been that covered in mud…..wandering back though London streets like that reminded me of being a mischievous child again and there’s something hugely freeing and totally amazing in that.
Find out more: It’s not too late to run a Race for Life event for Cancer Research UK – check out all the races nationwide on their website HERE