Well this medal was hard to earn, once again The Pain and Suffering lived up to its name. Although I’m relatively new to the concept of Obstacle Course Running (or Racing for more competent athletes), having only done four races in the past three years, The Pain and Suffering has become my favourite (the other races being The Major Series, completed three times, The Wolf Run, once and Tough Mudder a couple of months ago now).
The Suffering Race Series offer a few races and all distances are quoted as “no less than” and those distances are:
- Five kilometres
- Ten kilometres
- Ten Miles
For the bonkers few there is also a challenge called “Suffering Legends” which is all three distances in the same weekend, as the five and ten kilometre races are held on the Saturday and the ten mile race on the Sunday and they also offer a relentless challenge which is all three races on the same day. The Suffering race series takes place at rockingham castle in leicestershire.
The best thing about The Pain and Suffering weren’t the man made obstacles, which I’m not saying were bad, but the use of the terrain, particularly the hills! I still shudder a little when I even think about the idea of running up or down hills, I lost count of the number of time me and my team would approach a hill and hope that we were just skirting around the edge of it, only to be wrong. There were other great uses of the terrain in amongst the grounds of Rockingham Castle in Leicestershire, such as what appeared, or what I assumed, to be jumps designed for horses judging by their height and gaps underneath. There was also carrying aplenty, with logs, sandbag and various things filled with water, travelling, again, up and down hills, as well as pushing and dragging tyres. Of course there was the obligatory walls to clamber over and a water slide, which was probably the only disappointment for me as it could have longer and it seemed like they were having water issues, as there seemed to be no real pressure as it came out of the hose and it was trickling down the slide. Although it was more substantial than last year, I’ll give them credit for that, last year it was a plastic sheet held down by sandbags, which I hit and winded myself on last year, but this year it had inflatable sides and a water trap at the bottom to actually stop people.
It is definitely the hardest run that I’ve done, but running with a two other people was good fun and as it was warmer this time round, it taking place at the end of June instead of the beginning of March, I wasn’t as cold and slightly delirious as I was the first time round but I was worn out and bruised.
Was it harder than Tough Mudder? Yes and considerably so. Would I do it a third time? Absolutely I can’t wait to do it again. I feel they made a step in the right direction with the water slide I hope they continue to improve it and they were a lot more food and water stops which were definitely appreciated, as I only remember one water stop last year.
Overall I thought it was a great race, definitely value for money at less than £40 and they definitely improved on it from last year. I would definitely recommend it to anyone wishing to push themselves.