This was going to be my fourth year running at the Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest (SOTF) and a chance for a hat-trick by winning it three times in a row. SOTF differs from most other obstacle course races (OCRs) as it is predominantly held on tarmac in an urban setting. This year was no exception; with the event being held around Wembley stadium it was looking to be a fast 10km course!
The race started fast (as always) leaving me to struggle in the throng of people trying to get over the hay bales just 30m into the race. Safely over I worked my way to the front looking for teammate Ross Macdonald who I knew wouldn’t be far behind. Rat Race have trademark SOTF obstacles which appear every year but had done a good job of designing some new things for us to either jump over / under, climb, crawl through, go round or carry.
The initial part of the course was obstacle heavy in the grounds of Wembley stadium. After a lap of the football ground including many stair climbs and descents we pushed out into the town itself. Taking in local parks and completing obstacles along the way we looped round for the return trip, most of which was in the river Brent!
On the running sections I was logging some fast km times and feeling strong whilst doing so. I had built quite a lead on Ross and on the return trip to the stadium found myself not pushing quite as hard, allowing me to save some energy for Judgement Day the next day and to navigate the slippery (concrete) river bed without incident.
The fun wasn’t to end there though. Moving the obstacles into a more intense 5km course, SOTF also held a night race on the same day. Wanting to have a laugh more than anything else, some teammates (Ross & James) and I decided to run around together and see if we could grab all three podium positions even with a mid-race pint and jager bomb in the beer tent. Mission complete: we were the first to cross the line, completing the course and the ‘bonus obstacle’ in just over 30 minutes…
A great day over topped off with some time in the beer tent, thoughts then turned to what would be a massively different experience of an OCR at Judgement Day Bordon the next day. Check back to see how I got on.