Thursday, November 22, 2012

Men's Health Survival of the Fittest

Last Saturday I took part in a crazy race organised by Men's Health Magazine called Survival of the Fittest. The race over 10k took place in and around that iconic grade II listed building Battersea Power Station on the south bank of the River Thames.
It's the largest brick building in Europe and has appeared on the Pink Floyd album Animals and the plant's interior control room also featured on the cover of Hawkwind's Quark, Strangeness and Charm album. What better place for a 6 mile urban assault course could there be?
My hotel was in Victoria, so an early morning jog along the Thames was required to reach registration on time. Around ten thousand runners had applied to run the race, so thankfully we were starting in waves of around 300 throughout the day and I was in the first wave.
At 9 o'clock a mixed bunch of athletes, fun-runners, charity runners and an assortment of costumed joggers, including Village People, animals and super heroes, sprinted for the first obstacles, the hay bales. The rain was falling and the bales were slippy so naturally I slipped down the tallest of the bales, but I soon regained my footing and climbed over the top and was back into my running stride. A few loops around the power station grounds was followed by some rain-soaked parkour obstacles which I negotiated gingerly. The course then headed towards Battersea Park but not before I had to crawl through some raised tunnels that were so low that I had to inch along on my stomach. It was nice to stretch my legs in the park and I managed to overtake a few other competitors including the biker from the Village People! I also noted numerous Ring-necked Parakeets calling from the trees.
We then entered Millennium Park where we had a taste of the Olympics by running around a steeplechase course, once again it was treacherous due to the rain. A quick run through the streets brought us back towards the Power Station where numerous tunnels, climbs, skips, mud, ice, and fire hoses where brought into play to sap the runners' energy. In all there were almost 100 obstacles on the course including the infamous Men's Health Wall of Fame near the finish. After pausing briefly to get my breath, I successfully overcame this final barrier unaided. Cold, wet, bruised and bloody I was pleased with my performance and jogged back to my hotel with a smile on my face; much to the amusement of passing later wave runners heading for the start and wondering what they had let themselves in for.

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1 comment:

  1. The first several months of my site there were no comments; just give it time; now they come in like crazy every day! Thanks. M. Silverstone