Rock Solid was my first middle distance OCR of the year. At 10km, speed was going to be essential unlike in The Nuts Challenge where pacing, energy consumption and clothing are far more important. Rock Solid is only in its second year of existence but with so many excellent reviews this was one to look forward too, especially with the weather which was set to be glorious.
As a team we travelled down on the Friday night leaving us fresh and ready for the race on Saturday morning. inov-OCR are commanding a strong position at the top of the Mudstacle league, but Rock Solid was a high scoring event and set to be a real race with the best from RPCC elite making the trip down.
I was feeling good and managed to keep my legs fresh even though I got a good quantity of training done in the week before. To get the balance of training, resting and racing is difficult but I felt I managed well in the two weeks since the Nuts Challenge.
The race started fast, not helped by the fact we were all lying down when they said go. This left a frantic scramble to get into a comfortable position, which was at the front for me and the rest of inov-8 OCR. Followed closely by RPCC Elite we charged over the first obstacles before setting into a steady pace soon broken by a set of hill reps…
I managed to stretch out a good lead and was roughly a minute ahead by the 3.5km mark where I was pointed in the wrong direction. On arriving back at the log carry I doubled back and was thankful to see Ross and Sam coming towards me having gone wrong as well. Together we found the correct route and upped the pace with Adam and David not far behind.
By the time we made it back to the event village I had a 30 second lead though this diminished slightly with my somewhat ‘girly’ attitude at the water submersions. Thankfully, there were a few running sections to come where I managed to build my lead to nearly 2 minutes – eventually finishing in first ahead of Ross in second and Sam in third.
I also took the opportunity to run the course a second time later on in the day; joining Pete from Mudstacle as well as Adam and Ross we embarked on what was a thoroughly enjoyable second lap. Soaking up the sunshine and taking the opportunity to enjoy the obstacles at a leisurely pace I marvelled at how the organisers had managed to create a course which was equally fun to race or just take part in. Even being fuelled by some exceptional Otter ale I did feel myself start to get cold towards the end of the lap and was happy to don my DryRobe to warm up.
It was a great course with some stand out obstacles including the barbed wire crawl in water, the head dunkings (especially the one with ice), the high jump and an array of perfectly sized walls. Rock Solid also have ‘The Green Mile’, an obstacle free mile of running mid race. The organisers provide a timing split for this section creating an interesting sprint in the middle of what turned out to be a 12km course.
Clare had a smashing race coming in with a first out of the ladies even though this was only her second OCR and she is still getting used to the concept. A top job done and another cracking weekend for inov-8 OCR! We rewarded ourselves with a night out and a long team run the next day. Next up is Dirty Dozen, another top OCR and a bit closer to home this time – should be a corker. I have also just had my entry for Fuego Y Agua Survival Run – The Celts confirmed… pretty epic and will no doubt be my ‘A’ Race of the year.