So, after my mum passed away the day before this obstacle course race (OCR) I had been in two minds whether to travel down to London and take part. I decided in the morning to go for it, I will be with a bunch on my Instagram friends who are all in the same mindset as myself, crazy people who run around the streets and fields year round, so being in like minded company could do me some good and help to take my mind off things back at home.
I was lucky enough to win a place in the OCR thanks to my friend Marcus who assembled the dream team Mind Over Mudder shown below, Becca, Erin, Laura, Evie, Caroline and Liv all of whom I knew from Instagram but had never met in person. It was so nice to meet up finally and all such lovely people.
This was my third OCR this year having taken part in TOUGH MUDDER YORKSHIRE and MEN’S HEALTH SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST earlier in the year, both of which are well established OCR events and very well organised. The Bear Grylls OCR is still in its first few years and has the potential to be as good if not better than other OCR events on the calendar. There are still a few faults with the event but also a lot of great unique features that can make this event stand out from the crowd.
There were three distances available, 5k, 10k and 30k. We were taking part in the 10k event but clocked this to be 7.5-miles so quite a bit over the advertised distance. I know GPS is never 100% and with switchbacks & zig zagging through trees you can get differing calculations, but coming in 1.3-miles over the distance advertised is some way out, I guess you could say we got value for money (although I didn’t pay). The route itself was pretty well marked out with BGSR tape making the way, making it easy to find your way around. There was one point towards the end were we weren’t 100% sure which way to go but found our way around in the end. One criticism was the lack of water around the course, we were in one of the later groups to go out and were mostly taking it at walking pace putting us towards the back of that group too, but we found some water stations were empty, fortunately it was an overcast day, had it been a hot one, then we would have struggled.
Despite the few negative points listed above, which I hope the event will learn from and listen to feedback. The positives far outweigh the negatives. The course was great fun and not too difficult making it achievable for less experienced people, but also had some good challenges as well, such as wall climbs, monkey bars and rope climbs. There is no pressure to do things you do not feel comfortable doing at any point. The biggest positive point for me and the one which sets Bear Grylls Survival Race apart from the likes of Tough Mudder were some unique survival challenges that Bear had set, such as shooting targets, starting a fire, eating some bugs (one challenge I skipped!) and some questions on how to survive set by some scouts.
All in all, this is a really good event. It does have a few areas to improve on in the coming years but I believe that they will improve and this will be a fantastic event in the future. What made the day for me was meeting up with my Instagram friends, we had such a fantastic and fun day and it was just what I needed after receiving the bad news yesterday.