On Sunday myself and two training partners had a go at the infamous Tough Guy course in Perton a few miles west of Wolverhampton. Although not exactly martial arts related it was a lot of fun, that’s for sure.
We signed up online in January for a cost of £104, most of which goes on safety considerations. The one lad suggested it and me and my mate agreed to give it a go. The organisation of the event is a little haphazard to say the least and it is difficult to get clear instructions as to the course and event day requirements. Suffice to say we arrived with the expectation of running eight miles (the Country Miles) and then two laps of an army assault course. The best source of information was You Tube and I’ll embed a video to give a flavour of the event.
This was 2009 and probably gives an impression of being well organised, it was not. Crap pre-event information, crap training information, crap sponsorship/charity information, crap event day information, crap showers and generally crap. But, the actual event itself was fantastic, what a great laugh. If you don’t like mud, forget it, if you can cope with mud it’s like being a naughty boy and getting to do all the things your mom didn’t want you to do!
In so far as training for the event went, I’ve mentioned that they didn’t provide any information. Well they did but it was incoherent so I decided that the general fitness training we do in our club would be sufficient, with a little added running. Trouble is I did very little running as it bores me, I like cycling so I did a bit of that as preparation. In my opinion, the general participant did running training, which of course is applicable but in isolation is limited.
Our club training is better suited to coping with the course in comparison to simple running but I’ll expand. One of us likes running but the others did not, so we decided the plan was to plod round and be fit enough to cope with the obstacles. So I took up some pull-up training, just did some every day, well most days, as this movement seemed to be involved in a lot of the obstacles. We also do tabata training on two training days so I upped this a bit at home. Coupled to skipping (jump rope) training we do and a little yoga for flexibility and I think our training is suited to completing the course.
As it was difficult to understand the course before actually doing it, we were unaware that the Country Miles was not simply an eight mile run, rather it was strewn with obstacles. This suited me as it was not as boring as I’d expected, within the first half-mile you had been over several walled ditches and was pretty soaked. There were also three ‘slalom’ sections, two of which were up and down steep banks, tabata training came in handy here as these were basically ‘sprints intervals’. The other slalom obstacle involved a lot of muddy ditches, this was one of the funniest things I have ever done, the mud was simply daft and you ended up on your ass a lot! But people were always on hand to help you up and give you a bunk up.
The main obstacle section was great fun, I liked the plank walking the least while the rope walks were the hardest physically. I decided that I was going to enjoy the mud and tended to jump in whenever possible. Overall I’d recommend this fun day out to anyone it’s great fun, if a little disorganised before hand while there is a little too much queueing on the day. Several thousand had a go.
I was quite pleased with myself as I went into the event after unavoidably having only two hours sleep the night before but this pales into insignificance as I saw a bloke with one leg complete the course, fair play to him. It was a lot of fun!