Mud, mud, glorious mud, Claire Scammell reports.
On Sunday 9th May I left home at 7.30am to make the 130-odd mile trip to
Ledbury Castle near Hereford for the Mudrunner Oblivion. The setting for
this race was the deer park, all part of the Ledbury Estate. Arriving
around 10am it looked rather hilly. I was aware there would be 6 miles,
some mud and an obstacle after every kilometre. I didn’t quite
comprehend the undulations that were to come! The race began in ‘waves’
due to the 900-plus runners. Watching the first wave leave they
immediately began an accent that went on and on and on until they went
out of view. I was in wave 3. The brief was to attempt all obstacles
otherwise running numbers would be noted and upon arriving at the monkey
bars should anyone fall before getting to the end, there would be an
extra running loop for anyone unlucky enough.
The race began. I have to say that the hill was an absolute killer. I
got three-quarters of the way up and it was just as quick to walk as
run. After half a mile the summit was reached. My chest was burning at
this point. The route then went across grass though a wooded area
covered in bluebells and interspersed with mud. The first couple of
obstacles were large wooden fences to climb. At this point my
recollections of terrain become grainy other than up and down! A steep
incline up mud had us crawling over and under logs across the track.
Surprisingly hard work. One of the next challenges was what looked like
a Landrover track. Full of knee deep, freezing cold, muddy water, which
went on and on. So much so I forgot the burn in my lungs and felt the
numbness in my legs and feet. Somewhere along the route was a cargo net
over mud to crawl through. More muddy water, this time waist deep and
logs to climb under to get to the end.
Claire drives on relentlessly
The mud then became a lot gloopier. However, having to contend with not
losing your trainers there was also criss-crossed ropes to navigate.
Finally the monkey bars which I feel were strategically placed near the
end after crawling through more mud and water, so that your hands would
never grip them. I’m afraid to say I swung to bar number 2 and lost my
grip. I was sent around the loop. The final obstacle was across a 25 metre
lake. It was almost chest deep with a rope from one side to the other,
some took the opportunity to swim it. I waded across. This was repeated
twice before the final last few metres to the finish. I got a t-shirt,
chocolate and medal, all well deserved and a time of 1 hour 42 mins!
This has got to be one of the hardest races I have ever done. The hills
were something else and the mud and water was energy sapping. However, I
would definitely recommend this race, superbly organised and great fun.