So, the day I had been dreading had finally arrived it was Saturday 4 August and it was time for the Total Warrior 10k. I woke up having had a pretty good sleep the night before but I was still very nervous of what the morning had in store.
After a breakfast of scrambled eggs followed by Weetabix I was as ready as I was ever going to be and sat for the next half hour, in between four trips to the loo, awaiting my lift.
Once we were underway I’d started to calm down a bit (after terrifying myself reading the waiver) and prepare myself for the long morning ahead. The only plan of action we had as a group was that we were going to stay together and pull each other through it.
Once we’d arrived, registered and had a little bit of a warm up we thought it best to get into our Wave which was starting at 10:30. For the umpteenth time that morning I had to make another trip to the toilet, what I have taken from this is that my bladder is a total jobber.
The Brazilian Wax Team – From left Me, Lee, Chris and Gareth. (Photo courtesty of Lee Thompson)
To hammer home the point that this was going to be tough there was a pre-race obstacle just to get to the start line. A crawl through some hay bales and we were at the start and ready to go, just before we were let loose there was a preamble regarding safety over the course followed by a countdown to send us on our way.
The first thing we had to face was going downhill, followed by going uphill, followed by going downhill then uphill again (Obstacle – Leg It). Nothing like ruining the calves 1 minute into a 10K obstacle course but hey they did say this was going to be tough. Then it was a meandering run before arriving at the Human BBQ – basically this was a path of fire either side and it was HOT. The thing that got to me the most, being an asthmatic, was the smoky atmosphere which took my breath away for a little bit. After the Human BBQ it was a little bit of a run over terrain, via a stream or two, before we hit our next obstacle (Step it Up). With this obstacle it was three different walls of varying height that we needed to get over. Working as a team we managed this fairly easily and lent a hand to others who were struggling (or in some cases too short) to get over the obstacles.
Again it was a little bit of a run/walk before our next obstacle which was Tyred. The clue was in the name of this one in that it was tyres of varying width and depth which you had to navigate through. Being a bit of a clumsy bugger I tripped on the first one and spent the rest of the obstacle in a half trip/half balance dichotomy.
After a bit of an uphill run we encountered the water station which at that point was much needed. It was all downhill from here until we encountered the worm mucher. This was a bit of a pain of an obstacle as it was a muddy swamp and there was barb wire involved. A lot of people appeared to be adopting the commando crawl until the point where it got too muddy and everyone got stuck. Everyone mucked in at this point and the people who had just left the obstacle pulled the people behind them out. So now we were muddy, wet and lacking energy we made our way to YouTube which was a tunnel of tyres that had to be navigated through. Not long after that obstacle we were in the water for a quick dip before making our way to a row of obstacles. Ball breaker was a balancing act over wooden beams followed by Muddy Funster which was a bit of a trudge through a swamp then Dunking Time which was a meander through water then a dive over (or under) logs. We were all well and truly knackered after this and decided to take it easy on the way up to the next obstacle which was the Widow Maker. This was an interesting obstacle as it was a cargo net which went uphill but the cargo net got tighter the higher up the hill you went. Luckily for me being a bit of a short dude I was able to use my hands and legs to power up and arch my back to keep the cargo net off me, then we were back through the water to make our way to the next obstacle.
The Spiders Web and The Grand National were up next. The Spiders Web pretty much explains itself, a tangle of ropes that had to be navigated through then on to The Grand National. This was a group of 7ft walls which required much bunking up from willing volunteers to enable you to get over, luckily most people were willing to help others out. Not long after we happened upon The Peaks of Pain which was a group of hay bales all stacked up that had to be scaled then jumped off.
After a short run uphill we came to Claustrophobe which was a group of tyre tunnels that were really tight followed by The Trenches which were a group of trenches under cargo nets with a guy with firing jets of water at you from a hose. Once the Trenches had been navigated we were in the Monks Playground, this was a group of logs that had to be gotten over followed by a crawl through water under logs then a jog through mud (in which I finally lost a shoe which took a while to recover) then uphill. At some point around here I lost my inhaler which was slightly worrying but I knew we weren’t far from the end now so as long as I took it easy I knew I’d be ok (luckily I had a spare in my bag back at the car).
Back through water again and then onwards to The Shocker. This was a run through live electric wires and seemed to be going ok for me until a wire was flung in my face by the person in front of me giving me a painful shock to the lip. Then a run uphill to our next obstacle Slide Away which was a very long plastic slide covered in washing up liquid and a guy with a hose at the top. I totally enjoyed this obstacle as can be seen in the attached picture, it took me a long time to stop after I reached the end of the slide and I ended up rolling at the end back on to my feet.
Back uphill for Total Wipeout which was a climb up a steep and slippery slide and then straight into Log It where we had to pick up a log and run downhill then run back uphill on the other side and return the log. This was pretty energy sapping now but we knew were only about 1k from the end at this point so it was a case of sucking it up and trying to finish. Downhill again and then we hit The Sheep Dip, this was the only part of the course where you really did have to swim as you couldn’t put your feet down in the water (unless you took the easy option and hopped over the stones that is). Once you got to the other side it was a case of being very careful as there were some pretty big boulders kicking about underwater that you could easily have bumped into had others not been shouting out warnings about them. Then it was a case of pulling ourselves up by a rope to the top of the hill followed by me catching my breath (I hate swimming at the best of times).
A run uphill and the end was in sight One Last Climb did exactly what it said on the tin, a climb up a wall into the final obstacle of Hang Tough which was monkey bars over a pool of water. At this point my arms couldn’t take that final obstacle so I opted to jump into the water and swim to the end. We all linked up and crossed the finish line together 1hour and 51 minutes after we’d started.
In conclusion, I was glad that I did it, for sure it was a tough slog and a lot of it was reliant on the kindness of others which I ensured I repaid throughout the course. Would I do it again? You know, being a bit of a mental case I probably would but once a year is certainly enough. The banter throughout the course was great and the experience was certainly one that I feel that I needed but I would suggest that anyone taking part does train for it. Now it was time for me to hop on a train to York and prepare myself for the York 10k the next day (see I told you I was mental).