Saturday, February 4, 2012

Total Warrior 2011

There's a little trick we play on our four year old daughter.  If we really want her to do something, something that she is reluctant to do, for example, to put her shoes on or eat her dinner, we tell her that only big girls do that.  "I'm going to leave this toast here and Hannah wont have any because only big girls like toast."


I don't know why I told that story.  Anyway, when I saw adverts for the Total Warrior, "the toughest 10k challenge on earth", there was only one thing I could do: enter the 10 mile race the next day because only big boys can do the 10 mile race.

Registration was in a barn and everybody was given their number as well as a timing chip, headband and Total Warrior tattoo (temporary).  I tried my headband for size...

decided that I didn't really like it and opted to wear it as a belt.  I also chose to wear some pink shorts because I had a feeling that my clothes might get torn on the obstacles.  I also wanted to lure the opposition into a false sense of security.  Shoes tied tight, which is always a good tip when you might be running through muddy puddles, I was all set to go.

Hannah giving the outfit the thumbs-down.

First obstacle was called Leg It and involved running up and down and up and down a steep grassy bank.  This was a good test of hill work and the ability to run downhill fast.  Lots of people falling here and, because it was right at the start, it was crowded which added to the danger element:

Leg It - down and up, and down and up again..

on the way up, I think that guy in front of me is French

Next up was the Human Barbecue.  Bit of a disappointment really because rather than running through fire, it was really running along by the side of fire.  A little smoky but really, not that exciting.  The course continued down over a river (paddling level) and then on to Step It Up, a series of hurdles getting gradually higher.  The hurdles were quite spread out so the running in between meant that you were quite tired by the time you got to the next one.  The next obstacle was Tyred, a short run over a row of tyres, quite tiring:

err.. next - a long run now across the open fell, about four miles in total.  I really enjoyed this part.  I had not really done any fell running before this.  Lots of boggy sections which I elected to run straight through the middle of and actually came out better than those that tried to avoid them by going around the edges.  

I built up some real speed on the downhill section to the next big obstacle, there was the odd hay bale to jump over I think, but the next big obstacle was called the Worm Muncher: a criss-cross of barbed wire to crawl under but underneath it was a muddy pit, great fun, I superman slid halfway and then crawled the rest. You Tube was a crawl through some rough tubes to come out the other side in a muddy pit and then onto another river crossing where a marshal told me, "you can go on that side of the rope which is deeper, or this side which is shallower but you will be out of your depth and will need to swim on either side."  Not sure what difference being out of my depth by different amounts made so I jumped in and swam across:

swimmers, on the "shallow" side

Ball Breaker was a walk across a narrow wooden planks over a water pit:

Which was followed immediately by a run through a muddy watery gulley, called Muddy Funster:

and then onto the obstacle which was probably the hardest, Dunking Time, a series of logs in a muddy pit that you needed to duck under:

On to the last straw: bales of hay where you had to jump from one to the next as the gaps between got bigger each time, I just made the last jump and then....


Spiders Web which was a section of webbing that you had to crawl over the top of and then The Grand National, a series of fences to vault.  I was really tired at this stage but remembered watching a climbing film a few days before where I had seen a climber swing his heel up above his shoulders and then pull himself up.  Worth a try:

quite surprised that it actually worked.  Lots of people walked round or had a bunk up on this one.

Peaks of Pain, a big pile of hay bales to climb over:

and then Claustrophobe:

A muddy run through some farm tracks.  I stopped to help someone who had fell and split his knee until he told us he was going to be ok and to carry on.  The next obstacle was Total Wipeout which involved climbing up a slippery slope using a rope and then a water-slide:

Nearly there now, a short run up the hill to the field and the last obstacle, The Shocker: a wooden arch with electrically charged wires hanging down:

I'm just behind these two - you can see my sexy pink shorts

Across the line in a very respectable time of 1hr 32 or so.  I was told that somebody else had been playing in muddy puddles.  Peppa Pig has a lot to answer for:


All in all, this was a really fun race to do.  A few of the obstacles were a little bit disappointing but I hear that they are going to be ramped up for this year's event.  The race entry for these type of events is expensive, I suppose there are a lot more overheads and expenses that other type of races.  Total Warrior is actually good value compared to some of the other similar events.


  1. hi mate - great post, now I know what to expect! What kind of shoes would you recommend?? Running ones, or trail running ones? There's not much cushioning in the train running ones so I'm not sure doing 10miles in them is a great idea...


    1. Hiya, thanks. I would definitely say trail shoes as opposed to road running shoes. The course is all on soft ground so cushioning isn't a problem. Make sure you tie them tight because I saw plenty of people losing them in the mud. Have fun, it's a blast!

  2. Doing this as part of a "Stag Do Team" in August, thanks for the review it's really helpful to get inside info.

    I'm selecting ger to do it in based on what I can afford to throw away afterwards!


  3. Thanks for the review, makes me feel better reading this!