The Pain and Suffering Round 2

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.

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Tough Mudder

On Saturday 21/5/16 I ran Tough Mudder, now I’ll share my thoughts on it. The venue where it took place was very scenic and probably would be a nice place to visit if you weren’t there to get filthy and exhausted. One thing I’ll say now is, as good as the venue was maybe it’s not a great idea to pick one that has only one way in and out, on the way out it wasn’t so bad as people get spread out in the waves, but on the way in it took over half an hour to travel the final 100 yards or so and on to where we parked up.

Once on site though you start to see why Tough Mudder has such a big price tag. Lots of sign posting and things setup for runners and spectators, like a live stream of different areas of the course. The event village seemed a lot busier than at other events I’ve been to, granted this is the biggest obstacle course run I’ve done so far, but there seemed to be a lot more available for spectators to do. The after race rinse stations were more substantial than others that I’ve used in the past. Adding everything you begin to get an idea of why it’s one of the more expensive events available, but I got the impression that you got what you paid for.

The run itself was good fun and the obstacles all offered a decent variety of challenges, a lot of them required teamwork, which seems to be the biggest pull to Tough Mudder, the main aim is to work with others and have fun doing it, hence the other big attraction to this event, the atmosphere, pretty much everyone is in good spirits and happy to talk with and help out others along the way. Everyone was willing to help each other over obstacles and support each other if they appeared to be flagging.

A far as difficulty is concerned I would say it was tough in parts, the obstacles that require any kind of upper body strength are always a challenge because it’s something I still need to work on, things like the walls and the monkey bars I was rubbish at, though I did enjoy king of the swingers, basically something you had to swing out on in order to try and ring a bell, even though I was rubbish at it, I’m just going to blame my fear of heights for that. Other obstacles I enjoyed were the cage crawl , where you floated on your back in fairly deep water and pulled you self along on a cage above your head. Of course the obstacles are another big cost for this particular event as they all appear to well built and sturdy, although some did get slippy when wet or muddy which added an extra challenge.

All in all it was good fun, I enjoyed most of the obstacles (that weren’t too high off the ground), the running was great, we went through some decent scenery and terrain. The facilities were fairly good and the event village was packed out with stuff. The obstacles were good. Could have done with better access to the site and the running sections could have been a bit harder. Would I do another one? Maybe I wouldn’t rush to do another, it wasn’t tough enough to justify the price or it being called Tough Mudder, that being said the atmosphere was good and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Anyway, Bring on The Pain and Suffering at the end of June!

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Long Time, No Post

It’s been a long time since I posted anything on here, almost a year, which I don’t have an particular reason for not doing. I keep telling myself I’m going to write more blog posts, then promptly forget and lost inspiration and struggled to find anything interesting to write about, although I was in my final year at university the last time I posted so that took up most of my attention.

But now I have something to write about and the time to write it and in it’s in a similar vein to my last post, as again I will be participating in obstacle course runs for charity. Again the chosen charity is the mental health charity Mind, as it’s a cause that is close to my heart and mind, as I was diagnosed with Depression in May 2012.

So on the two events I’ll be doing, yes there’s two this year and both are close together, the first is Tough Mudder on the 21st of May and the second is The Pain and Suffering (again) on the 26th of June. Tough Mudder is something I’ve wanted to do since I first started to get fit, so I’m glad that I’m finally able to challenge myself by taking part in it. The Pain and Suffering is the event that I did last year when I last raised money for charity, reaching and beating my target of £500 to eventually raise £650.

I almost couldn’t believe that people were that generous and I will be forever grateful to those that donated and gave their support, it meant a lot to me and was a driving factor during the obstacle run last year. This year though I won’t be doing it alone either (mercifully) so I’ll have some more encouragement, but I think using the opportunity to raise money will be a big drive to take part in these events.

With that in mind I have set the target of £500 again to reach over the next three or four months, so hopefully it’s a target that can be reached, people were especially generous last time around, so hopefully I can say the same time this time around as well.

The donation page is here Fundraising page any donations would be so greatly appreciated, currently £80 has been generously donated and I’m thankful for that. I will promise to post updates on how it’s going.

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The Pain and Suffering Obstacle Course Race

This Sunday just gone I took part in The Pain and Suffering OCR which is advertised as a 10 mile obstacle course, this particular one of the series of races, that they hold in different parts of the country,took part in the grounds of rockingham castle, in leicestershire. It is, by far, the hardest thing that I have ever done, probably ever, let alone along the path of getting fit.Everything along this course is designed to hurt and make you suffer, hence the name, boy I don’t think a name has ever been so apt. The running wasn’t the hard part, as I thought it wouldn’t be, but all the obstacle and the “reapers” (the nickname of the race marshals) are designed to suck all the energy out of you either by physical exertion or getting you freezing cold and wet, as well as generally being mean.

In the end, I managed to do the 12 miles as it turns out, in 3 hours 41 minutes and 24 seconds, coming in 70th out of 114, which considering I had no idea what to expect and massively underestimated how difficult it was going to be, I’m quite happy with how it went. I now have a marker set down to beat for next time.

On the fundraising front, my target of £500 was beaten by £50, which is beyond awesome. I thought when I first started £500 was a bit ambitious, but people have been incredibly generous. I really believe helping to get support to people with mental health problems is important which is why I chose Mind, as supporting those with mental health issues is what they do.

As a finish I want to say my mum came with me on the day to support me and she was great, especially towards the end. her just being there and shouting words of encouragement were fantastic and did actually help in the end.

Edit- The amount raised now stands at £650 as of 23rd of April 2015. I never thought it would get that high and I’m so happy that people have been this generous.

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Fundraising Update

A few weeks ago, I posted that I was taking part in The Pain and Suffering obstacle course run and raising money for the mental health charity, Mind and I thought I would write an update on how its all going. Here is the link:

I’ve managed to raise £195 pounds of my £500 target so far which is great! With just over four weeks to hopefully I can get closer to achieving my target. My training so far has been going ok I’ve done some long distance running to get used to the idea of running long distances between obstacles. I’ve been doing other things like British Military Fitness to help with my overall fitness which appears to be working, so that’s all good.

I’ve got a bit of a way to go yet and hopefully nothing terrible happens between now and then. I’m getting more and more excited about it as it looms closer to the day that I do it. I’ve been looking at videos and getting general a lot of decent advice from people who have done it before, in order to better prepare myself for the event, so hopefully it will be a good experience. Looking at the videos it looks like it will be a lot of fun but challenging at the same time and I’m looking forward to it.

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The Pain and Suffering Race

On March the 8th I will doing another obstacle course race, called The Pain and Suffering. It is a 10 mile obstacle course race in and around the grounds of Rockingham Castle in Leicestershire. This will be the first 10 mile one that I will have done so I will probably be doing a bit of extra training to get used to longer distance running as it’s about 4 miles longer than obstacle course runs I’ve done in the past, I’ve done 10km obstacle course runs before which roughly equates to 6 and a quarter mile.

So that will be challenge one, being able to cope with the distance, I’ve not been a strong runner, until recently I used to get really bad shin splints which slowed me down a lot. Not to mention that up until christmas day just gone the longest I’ve ever really run continuously is about 4.5/5 miles. I don’t know just how much running will be between each obstacle but I hope if I do a bit more long distance running in order to get used to it anyway.

I think I may well and truly have the “obstacle course race bug” hopefully I’ll manage a few more in the next few years, it’s good to have a challenge and something aim for in fitness, it makes all the effort worth it. Plus it’s a lot of fun, the three I’ve done so far have been great fun to be a part of, the people doing them have been very friendly, so there’s usually a good community spirit to them. I’ve put in a video I found of the event, I know it’s an advert really but I think it gives a good sense of what is to come. I also now have a GoPro camera myself so hopefully I’ll manage to video it as a I progress round.

There is another part to this story and that is, I’m raising money for Mind, a mental health charity that supports people with a range of mental health issues, having had depression myself, I know how much having a good support system in place means. I think treating mental health problems is as important as treating physical illnesses. I will also be doing the race in memory of my Uncle David who sadly passed away in 2011. I have set-up a justgiving page with the aim of raising £500 by march, hopefully this target can be reached by then. The link is below:

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New Years Resolutions

Obviously with a new year starting it is the time that people make resolutions for things they want to do or achieve this year. For a few years now I’ve had a tendency not to make them because I know I’m likely to forget what it is I plan to do for the year, usually before the year is a fortnight old. Of course this is fairly typical of most people, resolutions don’t seem to last long for most people, so at least I’m not the only one.

I could resolve to post more often, or to eat cleaner, I will try to do both, but I know that they’re not necessarily “do-able”, particularly the former as I’m now entering the second half of my final year of university, so that.’s my priority. The latter on the other hand is more of a money thing, if I can afford to buy the often more pricier food I will do my best to do so, although my diet isn’t terrible these days, it definitely could be better.

I really ought to get advice on how to improve my diet and nutrition, I have a vague idea of what sorts of foods I should eat and I know what I could cut down on, but to have a clear idea of what I should be eating would greatly improve my diet, health and weight loss.

Maybe that can be a resolution of mine, start researching a diet plan or foods I should eat more of and where to get them. Maybe I won’t call it a resolution and just make a note of it to do it when I can. We shall see what challenges and excitements the new year will bring, Happy New Year everyone, I hope you have a good one

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