The Total Warrior challenges are not your standard trail runs. The Total Warrior team has worked with ex-military personnel to bring participants the ultimate test of strength, stamina, agility and mental determination. The unforgiving Lake District terrain along with their specially designed hardcore obstacles means success is about survival and not speed. The course at Shap Abbey is designed to give contestants an adrenaline rush that they cannot get anywhere else and the tough sporting challenge brought thousands of competitors to Cumbria this Saturday and Sunday. Contestants from 37 countries were corralled in a pen before being given a motivational speech. Smoke bombs are thrown across the track – and then they are off. Two of those taking part were a husand and wife team from Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats).
The first few miles are all good fun, and having gone through some extremely steep hill zigzags and a fire gauntlet, it was straight forward hills, hills and more hills. During the hills most people had to take walking breaks because of the nature of the ground and incline. This section was undoubtedly the hardest, peat and boggy ground, very undulating and just when you thought the hill was conquered, there looms another just 100m away. Once they had summated it was time to start their very welcome descent.
Just as steep as on the way up and ending at the lowest part of the course, this was the freewheeling enjoyable part, although concentration was needed to avoid coming a cropper on the terrain. This took Laura and Nathan down to the water stop and after that the fun started. Firstly with a barbed wire mud crawl, straight into mud filled tunnels. Then up and down across hills through a 20 feet wide 7 foot deep river crossing and 6 feet mud filled pool. This part of the course meant doubling back upon yourself numerous times and encountering a further river crossing, cargo scramble nets, 7ft walls and 30ft hay bail climbs.
Finally into the last leg after a mad dash up a muddy rock incline came another climb, which at the top held a massive waterslide. to the penultimate hill, after heaving themselves over the slip hazard with ropes, off down the hill to the bottom of the final climb. Now just the last leg of incline was between them and the finish. Legs aching and lungs burning, they rounded the bend of the final hill into the finish area, only to find that they were to run through some electric hanging wires as a final treat.
Glad to have finished and feeling as if they thoroughly deserved it, it was time to collect their victory beers and have an unfairly cold hose down to get clean, before making the
6 hour drive home. Nathan and Laura ‘ran’ together and finished in a great time of 01.51.15. They are pictured: