Gemma tackles the Total Warrior 10k

Total Warrior is another of the growing number of obstacle races that promise to test your strength of character as well as strength of body. In 2013 I took on the 10k challenge in the Lake District – there was also a 10mile race the same weekend, and for 2014 there are two 10k races in Leeds plus the 10k and 10mile in the Lakes.

So, it was the Lake District in early August. That should tell you all you need to know about the weather! We had the four seasons at least twice each in one day – first it was grey and murky, then there was drizzle, then the sun came out, but the wind picked up a bit … and on it went. To be fair though it doesn’t really matter what the weather does at these things – you are still going to be wet, cold and covered in mud by the end.

The website makes a grand claim: “Total Warrior is the pinnacle of obstacle racing providing the greatest courses set in the finest venues.” Actually, I can’t really argue with that. There is surely no better location for a race than the Lake District hillsides. We were treated to some amazing views, not to mention some challenging natural obstacles as well as the couple of dozen man-made ones.

Our course started with a run up and down some very steep hills several times, then round to jump over a dying tree barbeque, and off up into the landscape. Along the way we encountered some of the boggiest bogs I have ever seen, several river crossings, one of which was deep enough to swim and just flowing fast enough to be a bit scary, stupidly high walls, miles of barbed wire and cargo nets, plus a host of random objects that had to be carried, dragged or otherwise cajoled along sections of the course.

It wasn’t all fun and games though – there was one section of dangly wires that claimed to give an electric shock. I felt nothing except for rope burn, but others say they did feel the power running through their veins. Immediately after was an awesome water slide though, and the course finished with some killer monkey bars. I found the obstacles throughout to be an excellent combination of slightly terrifying but strangely compelling.

I’ve done a few of these mudstacle races now and for genuine toughness and a real challenge Total Warrior gets my vote. Coupled with the nice t-shirt in proper women’s sizes, free beer and buff and gorgeous scenery this is a definite favourite of mine. I’m glad there is a new event closer to home for 2014 though – having to make a weekend of it with an overnight stay made it an expensive race last year.

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