If you have a race report, and you're not an elite/fast runner, but just a 'normal' person (whatever that is!) doing it for fun or personal achievement, then please email it in!
On Saturday May 10th, I headed off to the beautiful Burghley Estate, to take part in Rat Race’s Dirty Weekend…before anyone is wondering where this report is heading, I was about to take part in the world’s largest assault course!
The full mucker course consists of 200 obstacles over 20 miles. I know….you’re probably wondering why on earth I even considered this! Well I had been wondering this myself. I had decided to take part in the half mucker, 150 obstacles over 13 miles. Registration on the day was straight forward, hand in the signed disclaimer, show proof of identity and in return you receive various wristbands, timing chip and technical t-shirt.
Around the main arena were many food stalls, safe key storage, large marquee which hosted the bar and ‘cold’ water showers (otherwise known as hose pipes). I didn't have long to wait before my wave was called into the start pen for safety briefing and warm up. Then we were off…
The run started with small obstacles to space out the runners and let people warm up. The course wound its way around Burghley Estate and surrounding fields. There were a wide variety of obstacles grouped into zones such as, Trailblazer (wooden obstacles through narrow winding trails), Mud Run (as it says…obstacles in muddy trenches), Water Wipe Out (water based fun…the provided buoyancy aid is a must for this) and Survival of the Fittest (a variety of scaffold built ‘urban’ obstacles). It took various techniques to complete the obstacles, crawling, climbing, balancing, and a few helping hands at times. There were also a few sections where you had to carry an object a short distance such as a log, traffic cone and sand bag.
As a solo runner, I did wonder how many of the obstacles I would be able to complete, but the great thing about this event was the camaraderie. Everyone seemed to help each other, and no one was judged for skipping an obstacle. Refreshment stops provided runners with water, crisps, jelly beans and bananas. One stop even had a warm up tent with foil blankets.
I completed the half mucker and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The event had a fantastic atmosphere, and there were plenty of spectators watching various nearby zones, before retiring to Burghley house and tea rooms. It may seem like a big challenge, but it is achievable (I made it). Apart from the first few waves where people were there to race, most took their time and paced themselves. The event may seem pricy, but included in the entry fee is a party pass for the big evening music festival (although I didn’t stay for this, opting to drive home for a hot shower).
So, if you want to experience an event with a difference, then all you need is your trail shoes and a sense of fun… I've already signed up for next year.