There has to be a good reason for me to get up at 6:30 on a Sunday morning and I had a sneaky suspicion that taking part in the Commando Series was going to be that very good reason.
Today I was being accompanied by a very good friend of mine, the lovely Chris Williams. As he pulled up at 7.00am sharp, I could hear a bit of NWA booming out of his car and I knew we were in for a good day. The drive up was just fabulous, with rays of warm autumn sun caressing the beautiful Kent countryside and singing along to the Kenny Roger’s version of ‘Island In The Stream’ at the top of our voices (in fact I’m listening to it now, it’s amazing). We arrived in plenty of time, mainly due to Chris thinking he’s Jenson Button, so had time to mooch around the venue. Registration was a piece of cake and this is where I first clocked the epic Royal Marines tee, and I mean EPIC.
So on to the warm up, forget what you know about a warm up, this was bloody hard work. It soon dawned on me these guys were actual Marines……and what more knew what they were doing! They gave us a real beasting and anyone that was mucking around soon realised they needed to buckle up and get it done. Don’t get me wrong, it was great, but hard work.
Soon after this we were led down to the start line (I was still trying to compose myself after the warm up ordeal haha) and we were given a good briefing of what lay ahead. There was genuine anticipation, excitement and the warranted nerves from all the runners. Now the race itself, WOW, boggy swamps, a zone with replica gun shots and smoke, cool pitch black underground caves, lakes (cold, but bearable), a wee waterfall, a brilliant sheep dip and you even got to see the castle to name but a few obstacles and sites. This was all the while being shouted at and encouaged by Marshalls, which only added to the feel of the event and meant finishing a trail 6k in under an hour.
As we crossed the line we were given our awesome dog-tag medals and a comforting cup of warm Ribena. You should have seen our little faces, we were proper chuffed, on a high and rightly so! The event ended with a very poignant two minute silence to remember all those brave souls who sacrified themeselves for the greater good.
This was genuinely one of the best OCR’s I’ve done this year, the course is well thought out, it’s interesting, no real hills as such, mud but not too much and you’ll just have the best time. Thank you so much Katie Ashworth and the team for inviting me along, you guys did a real good job.
If you would like to try something a little bit different next year then I would highly recommend considering this event. For full details including how to register please visit http://commandoseries.co.uk. There was a discount code WRONGENS for the 2016 season, which may work next year, if not it will very soon.