As with most events that I go along to, I had some reservations about the quality of photos I would get and to a lesser extent about how well the event would be organised, but after a few emails and a call to one of the organisers, I decided it would be a fun day out and committed to going.
On the day of the event there were mixed opinions of whether it was going to rain all day or not, which made me wonder if I had made the right choice, but waterproofs to the ready as I prepared my cameras and lenses and loaded up the car. Half way to the event I realised I had left my waterproof trousers hanging over the stair bannister, a small groan and mutters about how stupid I was I carried on anyway.
Arriving onsite I was greeted by one of my camera club buddies, Sue (you can find some of her photos from the day here and here), we quickly gathered our thoughts and discussed tactics and locations and merrily went our separate ways. It turned out whilst the courses (5 miles and 10 miles) covered quite some ground, they were centred around the field where the start and end were and it was easy to move between the various obstacles set out for contestants.
I started out at the muddy pond, that quite frankly stank worse than most smells this nose has ever experienced, but it was highly entertaining to see the contestants grab a car tyre and plough in through the mud, the facial expressions alone were priceless, but very occasionally on exiting the pond some contestants would pose for a photo.
Over fences, into muddy ditches, between framed car tyres and in and out of extremely deep ditches, the course seemed quite gruelling, but just about every contestant seemed to have a permanent grin on their faces. You could sense a certain childlike thrill and enjoyment of the exercise combined with getting really muddy without caring. There was of course some very serious individuals who appeared to be showing quite aptly how supremely fit they were, some leaping fences rather than climbing them, and others just making the whole thing look a doddle.
I was extremely impressed with the almost even split between the genders of the contestants and the extremely wide age range, which just goes to show that age shouldn't be a barrier to exercise or getting muddy.
I thought it a little unusual, but also kind of intriguing that a bunch of young ladies were running the dash for a birthday celebration, I don't know about you, but my birthdays tend to be a little less exercise and mud and a little more relaxing and drinking.
All in all, it was a fun day out doing something I enjoy with other people doing something they enjoy, but there had to be a winner overall, and here he is in all his mud and glory, he led right from the start and finished a good 13 minutes before the second place contestant, the winner being James Rushton.
And the rest of my photos from the day that I deemed fit to share are here: