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PHA at Rat Race’s Survival of the Fittest

PHA at Rat Race’s Survival of the Fittest

Survival of the Fittest

This weekend, The PHA Group Sport and Leisure team attended the final instalment of Britain’s biggest adventure running series, Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest, which took place in Wembley Park, London.

Survival of the Fittest – for those of you that don’t know – is a colossal 10km urban assault course. Comprised of gigantic hay bale walls, monstrous man-made obstacles and a river crossing, this is an event which certainly isn’t designed for the faint-hearted – or the unfit for that matter!

We arrive at the event village, situated in the shadow of Wembley stadium, first thing in the morning. The weather is grey, gloomy and rainy – the perfect conditions to ensure that all the competitors get seriously wet and muddy.

Survival of the Fittest

The first wave of runners set off at 9am; amongst them are some of obstacle racing’s finest, all gunning for the fastest times and the coveted first place position.

As the elite runner’s race ahead, others in the wave show some great comradery as they help each other over some of the toughest obstacles and cheer each other around the course.

From 9am until late afternoon, waves of up to 400 people departed every 15 minutes to tackle the Men’s Health Survival course, resulting in a total of 8000 competitors taking part in the event.

The course itself looped around Wembley Stadium before taking competitors through a route of 20 obstacle zones, and 100 pieces of equipment. Highlights included an enormous slip ‘n’ slide, an army assault course area, the ‘Parkour’ zone and the infamous Men’s Health ‘Wall of Fame’ – a sheer eight-foot high construction, which competitors had to scale before officially calling themselves a Survivor.

Survival of the Fittest

Once competitors had completed the course, they all gathered to toast their success in the massive Rat Race beer tent, which was the size of a football pitch. The atmosphere was electric, as the crowds cheered on their fellow survivors as they came through the tent on the keg carry obstacle and then back out onto the course.

The Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest Series is produced by leading adventure sports company, Rat Race, which has the largest selection of adventure races in the UK. Unlike other obstacle races, Survival are the only events located in city centres, with London being the culmination of a series of 10K high-octane obstacle races, which also took place in Cardiff, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Manchester.

Survival of the Fittest

The next event on the calendar for Rat Race is the Mighty Deerstalker event, the toughest off-road run in the UK, which takes place on the Scottishborderss on the 14th March 2015.

PHA at Rat Race’s The MIGHTY Deerstalker

Rat Race 'Deerstalker' 2009

This weekend, we went to watch Rat Race’s first event of the year “The Mighty Deerstalker”, which took place at Traquair House in the Tweed Valley of Innerleither.

I arrived on site at 11:30am ready for an exciting day ahead, with two different races set to take place. The event village was already buzzing as people had been arriving in the early hours to find one of the best camping spots.

Rat Race differentiates itself from other adventure companies as it puts on a serious after party, which takes place from 6pm until midnight. I had been told that almost 50% of people would stay for the evening entertainment, which would include a two hour set from a local live band.

Rat Race 'Deerstalker' 2013

The first race took place at 2pm and saw 1,000 set off on the 5k Deerstalker. This first group included a number of men and women dressed from head to toe in tweed (keeping with the historic theme of the event). It is certainly no standard 5k run, as participants had to battle some serious hills, water crossings, forest trails and man-made obstacles. I was expecting to see finishers completing the race in around 25 minutes….but I had been told by a source that it was actually an 8K run! The first finisher completed the course in 52 minutes.

The 10k event then took place in the evening, with the first of three waves of people setting off at 5:45pm. The MIGHTY Deerstalker was further, higher, steeper, wetter and wilder. It offered all of the challenges of the 5k race, but instead of competitors stopping when they reached the finish line at Traquair House, runners completed the longer version in darkness with only a head-torch to light the way. Again, I started to ask questions about why no one had been able to finish the race in an hour, because there were definitely some well-trained runners taking part in this race……
The run was, in fact, 17k long!!

Rat Race 'Deerstalker' 2013-587 cropped

The 10k event was quite a spectacle, as from the event village all you could see was 1,500 night torches in the distance. Although people were looking to run fast times, I noticed a great sense of camaraderie at the event with some great sportsmanship along the way. One poor competitor lost his shoe in what is known as “The Bog” and he had about 20 people searching the swamp for his shoes! Luckily a marshall gave him a spare trainer but we found out at the end it was three sizes too big.

As Rat Race’s evening event goes off in three different waves, the winner is not announced until later on in the evening. Personal trainer Gareth Moreton was announced as the winner in a time of 1 hour and 18 minutes.

Rat Race 'Deerstalker'

It was a fantastic event to be a part of and Rat Race certainly knows how to make the fun continue after the run.

The Sport and Leisure team will all be attending Rat Race’s next event “The Dirty Weekend” in May and we have heard that DJ Greg James will be playing after we tackle a 13m obstacle run!

For more information on Rat Race Dirty Weekend please visit: www.ratracedirtyweekend.com

 

PHA at Rat Race's The MIGHTY Deerstalker

Rat Race 'Deerstalker' 2009

This weekend, we went to watch Rat Race’s first event of the year “The Mighty Deerstalker”, which took place at Traquair House in the Tweed Valley of Innerleither.

I arrived on site at 11:30am ready for an exciting day ahead, with two different races set to take place. The event village was already buzzing as people had been arriving in the early hours to find one of the best camping spots.

Rat Race differentiates itself from other adventure companies as it puts on a serious after party, which takes place from 6pm until midnight. I had been told that almost 50% of people would stay for the evening entertainment, which would include a two hour set from a local live band.

Rat Race 'Deerstalker' 2013

The first race took place at 2pm and saw 1,000 set off on the 5k Deerstalker. This first group included a number of men and women dressed from head to toe in tweed (keeping with the historic theme of the event). It is certainly no standard 5k run, as participants had to battle some serious hills, water crossings, forest trails and man-made obstacles. I was expecting to see finishers completing the race in around 25 minutes….but I had been told by a source that it was actually an 8K run! The first finisher completed the course in 52 minutes.

The 10k event then took place in the evening, with the first of three waves of people setting off at 5:45pm. The MIGHTY Deerstalker was further, higher, steeper, wetter and wilder. It offered all of the challenges of the 5k race, but instead of competitors stopping when they reached the finish line at Traquair House, runners completed the longer version in darkness with only a head-torch to light the way. Again, I started to ask questions about why no one had been able to finish the race in an hour, because there were definitely some well-trained runners taking part in this race……
The run was in fact 17k long!!

Rat Race 'Deerstalker' 2013-587 cropped

The 10k event was quite a spectacle, as from the event village all you could see was 1,500 night torches in the distance. Although people were looking to run fast times, I noticed a great sense of camaraderie at the event with some great sportsmanship along the way. One poor competitor lost his shoe in what is known as “The Bog” and he had about 20 people searching the swamp for his shoes! Luckily a marshall gave him a spare trainer but we found out at the end it was three sizes too big.

As Rat Race’s evening event goes off in three different waves, the winner is not announced until later on in the evening. Personal trainer Gareth Moreton was announced as the winner in a time of 1 hour and 18 minutes.

Rat Race 'Deerstalker'

It was a fantastic event to be a part of and Rat Race certainly knows how to make the fun continue after the run.

The Sport and Leisure team will all be attending Rat Race’s next event “The Dirty Weekend” in May and we have heard that DJ Greg James will be playing after we tackle a 13m obstacle run!

For more information on Rat Race Dirty Weekend please visit: www.ratracedirtyweekend.com