Rat Race London River Run

Today I took part in the Rat Race London River Run, basically a 10k run with obstacles thrown in which mainly involved water.

I have done a few Rat Race events in the past, and they are always well organised and reasonably priced, this was no different.

The event was set up and around the Excel in London, and took full advantage of the docks to make some interesting obstacles.

This was the first time this event has been held in London, previously it was up North and actually often shown on Channel 4. So, how did the event go for me, well on arrival, slightly later than planned due to issues on the tube, it was off to registration.

Registration was the usual simple, quick and easy affair and then it was off to change. The changing tent was a bit dark at one end as it only had lights at one end, bit odd but there you go.

The bag drop was well organised, and they had a system of looking after your valuables, which was a good and well received idea.

Onto, the start after the usual enthusiastic warm up from the gym teachers on the stage. The first 600-700m was inside the hall, but it still had a few hurdles, a tyre run and a couple of things to climb over.

Once outside, it was quickly into the paddling pool and off to the beach to go under a couple of inflatables, the advice of don’t drink the water was probably very wise as it seemed salty and whilst not obviously filthy, not the best!

A bit of a run next, up some steps, over a bridge and then onwards. To be honest I can’t remember the exact order of the obstacles, but there was a swim, followed by clambering over some inflatable rings. I fell off the rings into the water, typical. Then there was a couple of floating platforms which you had to jump onto, I jumped but the platform was a long way away and whilst i sort of caught it, fell again. You will see a theme here!

Next up was the big test, the jump into the water from a 3m high platform, it was a case of walk to the edge wait for the countdown and jump. I have to say it was an odd feeling jumping, it seemed to take a long time to hit the water, maybe I was flying!

Once out, it was more soggy running and off to the kayaking, luckily I jumped in with two other people who turned out to be decent paddlers, so I was carried along really.

After this came the strangest one, a water slide, the slide was steep and I was certainly travelling at sped when I hit the water. Climb out and off again.

There were on the course a few non-water obstacles, a small inflatable, some monkey bars, a couple of things to climb over and then something to go under. Most of these you got to do twice!

The final water obstacle was an inflatable tunnel you went through and dropped out into the water, swam round a buoy and then climbed out.

In true Rat Race style there were a couple of walls to climb over in the finishing straight, just to keep you honest, and then it was over.

I have to say I was really looking forward to this event, and if I am honest it wasn’t as much fun as I had hoped, but it was still fun.

On finishing I realised I had picked up the usual assortment of Rat Race bruises and scars, most of which will be sore for a few days, that is just traditional.

If you have never done one the Rat Race Obstacles races, I would recommend doing one, they are a good laugh and well worth doing with someone or a group for more fun factor.


Survival Of The Fittest

Saturday was that time again, the time for Survival of the Fittest, the RatRace organised obstacle race run around Battersea Power Station.

If you have never done one of these types of events, then there are 2 things to keep in mind, firstly the distance of the event is really not the key component and secondly that speed is not a requirement.

This year the course was slightly different, in that a number of the obstacles were near the beginning and then there was a long run out to the athletics track and then back again to the power station for the final obstacles and the famous wall.

In terms of obstacles there is something for everyone, well in a manner of speaking, as there are obstacles that involve climbing over, going under, through and of course a ready supply of water an mud!

As it would take me pages to describe all the obstacles, here are some videos I shot of a selection of them using my GoPro

I will say that running wearing the GoPro does make it a little more difficult as you have to remember to duck a bit lower etc.

In addition to the videos below there were a couple of sections where you had to carry a sandbag, a traffic cone and an empty beer barrel.

These events are great fun, I love the fact that there is no time pressure as you often get stuck in a queue for an obstacle, however there is a downside and that is I always get bruised doing these. This year I have managed to bruise some ribs and shoulder as well as removing the usual amount of skin from knees and shins.

Don’t be put off have a go and enjoy

Who Would Be A Race Organiser?

I have never had a year where so many events I have entered have been cancelled due to the weather. This started in January when the F3 Events Maxifuel 10k was cancelled due to snow. After that, I moved my entry to the F3 Events off road run, this was also cancelled due to flooding. Eventually last Sunday I was able to complete F3 Events Maxifuel 10k, and that was in awful weather conditions, and I wonder how close that was to being cancelled.

Today, came the news that the Ratrace Hambledon Horseplay, due to take place on Saturday, has also been cancelled due to the grounds the event takes place in being flooded.

Now, it should be pointed out that both F3 Events and Ratrace have offered to allow you to enter another of their events, which I think is good as I am not sure they have to as weather is technically “an act of god”.

But for the organisers all the hard work and planning that go into these events has now amounted to nothing, I’m sure they are insured but that they would rather watch happy people taking part in the event rather than cancelling them.

For me the saddest part is that my plans for this week have now been broken. I had actually planned a good week in the lead up to the event which went, Monday – swimming using my new plan set for me by Julian Nagi. Tuesday, rest day as my legs were a bit aching after Sunday, then tonight, Wednesday, more swimming. Tomorrow, Thursday I was going for an off road night run as a bit of practice and then Friday I was planning an early morning swim (so far I have planned a couple of these but they never happen!).

So, now not only does my plan need to be revisited but I have nothing to do on the weekend, the run on Saturday night was the focal point. I am now going to have to find another way to entertain myself!