14th October 2015
The Toughest series is structured with many events all over Scandinavia – competing in the various races earns you points in the Toughest Mini Tour. Your top four races count towards your starting position in the chasing start final in Gothenburg. The winner of this event is crowned the tour champion which gets you the lease of a Mini for 6 months and a fair bit of petrol money too!
I had earned maximum points having won four events, but was closely followed by Mathias Borg starting only 20 second behind me. Following Mathias would be last years tour winner Krister Sellman starting at the same time as David Nordstrom, yet another strong athlete. Starting first gave me a small advantage time wise but also meant I would face very little congestion over the first obstacles. Needless to say I was looking forward to getting the job done though; I haven’t lost a Toughest event yet but I know that mistakes happen and that’s all it takes.
The course would be the usual intense 8km but Toughest were ramping things up for the final. The course was planned brilliantly with us looping back into the event arena for the biggest obstacles 5 times before coming in for the final time to go up the big ramp and finish. The terrain was also amazing with some beautiful forest trails featuring some steep climbs. Additional harder lanes in the obstacles would spice things up and these weren’t in short supply: two new ones included a salmon ladder instead of the rope climb and a new ring configuration. The hard lane of the rig also had a flying monkey in there!
As I started, I hit the first A-frame net and could hear a cheer as Mathias got going behind me. The chase was on! I knew this course suited me though. Some technical forest running with a few climbs and no swimming in sight I knew I just had to focus on the obstacles and I had a good chance of keeping my lead.
Felling strong on the obstacles I took all the fast lanes except the salmon ladder. I had one hiccup on the slackline though. Loosing balance a meter before the end I jumped hitting the other side with my hands and swinging my legs through sideways. I wasn’t sure if this was good enough but the judge was giving me the thumbs up. Still a little unsure I turned to the camera and gestured a few times whether I should do the forfeit of which I had time for and still be comfortable. With no response I carried on finally finishing where I started in first in a time of 43 minutes and 31 seconds.
It truly has been an amazing experience taking part in Toughest races this year. My immdediate response to how I found the course on Saturday was: ‘If obstacle racing was to be in the Olympics, this is the closest course I have ever done to how it should look’.
Thoughts now turn to the OCR World Championships once again in Ohio, USA. It would take a monumental effort for me to repeat what I did last year but I’ll be giving it 100% and look forward to yet another challenge.