So, the last ever tough guy! As you have probably seen all over FB the event is getting slated by some and praised by others. So our OCRKIT race team were there, so here is what i think!
6000 people starting in a single wave, safe to say that it is going to be a massive ask at any event to get this right, when you assume that there are bound to be traffic issues in and around an event surrounded by country roads, with traffic control in place. People will always arrive late (for whatever reason). We had a 45min start delay. It was not the end of the world, but consensus was they should have let the people that were there start on time, yes it may have screwed up race timing etc but could have helped congestion later on the course…..
The running section….. Oh the hills! TG added a new field section with large hay bails along the route, which helped spread the field out a bit. The course was then in reverse from the last 2 years, which meant you were punished from the start, and from that point on it just seemed hill after hill. By the end of the run section people were starting to warm up a bit, and those in Neoprene were certainly getting hot under the collar.
Then started the mud and the killing fields, it is called that for a reason and we were in and out of mud for a good few hours, a new mud section had bee added which was relentless, when walking past it on the way to registration the comment was that dose not look to bad…..how wrong we were! ditch after ditch after ditch….by this point the cold was starting to effect people, with no run section longer than a few hundred meters there was no way to warn up.
So what better than to hit you with the water section! chest deep to start, a short jog and the dreaded lollipops, i think it was 5 full submertions in total. Having done these before we waited as long as we could before jumping into the freezing water, a big crowd were there so we felt we had to go for it with big jumps in (rather then the slowly slowly approach from many around us!) swimming up to the initial dunk, then a mad swim dash to the lollipop section and without delay under you go, after the 4th time you have another swim to the bank and by that time you are just on auto pilot listening for the guys shouting at you to keep going and to get out! Then straight up a 40-50ft cargo net climb with every parts of your body screaming at you to get warm…no chance of that!….its tough….some more rope traverses and a walk the plank into the freezing water again!
Then there are various obstacles over water generally meaning you are from this point never not in or around the water, we did our good deed of the day at this point seeing a guy who was not looking to good, we asked if he was okay he said yes so we went behind him for a bit only to realise very quickly that he was in no state to continue could not talk/run and did not have a clue where he was or what he was doing, just on some hypothermia auto pilot. The marshals were amazing took him off and we carried on.
As with all these events we all crossed the line together and the feeling of getting the medal (and the hot chocolate and digestives) was so welcome! It was a truly epic course, we were lucky enough to get round before sections were being closed so completed the whole course.
The warm showers were good and everything was okay until the dreaded car park where we spend the best part of 2 hours stuck in the car with no where to go. From what we were told TG had decided to save money and had no marshals in the car parks, and no tractors to pull out stuck cars. This was really bad and as you can imagine at the time was extremely frustrating! Now we have calmed down and looking back at the event overall it put a taint on, but i will choose just to look back at the time spent on the course and be pleased that i was able too complete the last ever TOUGH GUY (Until it restarts next year under a new brand!)