Keeping things interesting

It’s true that when you do something a lot you can lose interest over time. The same can be said about running. Most of us have at some time or other lost what we refer to as our ‘mojo’ and spend ages looking for it on the sofa, in the pub or asking friends if they’ve seen it. The reality is that sometimes we simply lose interest because we take things a bit too seriously or don’t have enough variety.

Getting stuck in mojo-less rut is no fun at all, so I try to have fun events in the diary from time to time, like the Charity Beerathlon in London a few weeks ago, or more recently a full weekend of activities starting on Saturday with the Bear Grylls obstacle race followed on Sunday by an event called ‘Behind Enemy Lines’. What a weekend!

The Bear Grylls obstacle event promised a 12k run with obstacles around the course such as water pits, rifle shooting, monkey bars, cargo nets and climbing walls to name but a few. I got a place with team ‘Decibel’ with some people I knew, and there was about 20 of us, so after the obligatory never-ending start-line selfies we went through a great warm up routine to get us primed and ready for the start. It was interesting to find that you experience the same start-line nerves as you do with normal running races as you eagerly await the countdown! The horn goes and then it’s show-time! Some of the obstacles were easier than others but all were fun to take on. Can you climb a rope 30 feet up? No idea, but happy to have a go. Turns out that no is the answer, but never mind, it’s not about completing all the obstacles, its about having a laugh trying! The run was challenging enough without worrying about completing every obstacle. I did like the shooting obstacle though, having to hit 2 out of 3 targets or else face a forfeit. Thankfully I managed that one! Finally, after crawling through sand under barbed wire, then through water tanks, we crossed the line together, dirty, covered in debris, tired but laughing. This was what we came for!

I had another event in the diary for the weekend also. On Sunday a small group of LFR’s assembled at a top-secret location in the countryside to take part in an event called ‘Behind Enemy Lines’ organised by our friends at Regiment Fitness. The aim was for the team to race from checkpoint to checkpoint with only a map and compass to navigate, whilst being tracked by a team of army pros skilled at hunting. We were told that getting caught meant receiving a beasting from the captors! What did that mean exactly? We were not sure, but were keen from the outset to not have to find out. Each team was on a time limit of 2 and a half hours to get around all the checkpoints and take on the challenge at each one. 5 minutes in, and we heard the hunters’ motorbikes coming after us! Jumping off the track into the woods we ran full pace deep into the woods to avoid being seen….straight through nettles, fallen branches, brambles…anything in our way. First checkpoint was easy, and with that completed, Anthony Smith shouts “right lets do this!” then proceeded to launch himself straight into some sort of bog. From this point the hilarity of our situation became clear!

Eventually, of course, we stumbled naively into a couple of hunters. Run!!! Have you ever seen a bunch of LFR’s stumbling through the woods at full pace, hurling themselves through branches, being chased by masked army types brandishing baseball bats? No, me neither, but it was very funny. So yeah we got caught and were beasted through a series of sit-ups, press-ups, squat-jumps and duck-walks until we were properly exhausted. I am still laughing at how bad we were at all that! We spent more time on the floor crying with laughter whilst being shouted at to take it seriously!

2 hours 15 down and became pretty clear we were not going to get to every checkpoint, and cut, bruised, stung, filthy and tired we decided that we’d return to base and check in within the time limit to avoid the penalty. All in, we ran about 6 miles, although we all agreed it was the toughest 6 miles we’d ever done!

Looking back on the weekend, it was an absolute blast! There was plenty of running to be had of course, but more importantly it wasn’t about miles, or pace, or finish times, but simply about getting out and doing something a bit different and having some fun. Despite the cuts and bruises and unexplained itchiness you are left re-invigorated and looking forward to whatever is next up in the diary. I cannot recommend highly enough putting some fun events like these in the diary to mix things up a bit to keep things interesting. Bring on the next run!



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