Into the Rough

-written by Elvis OBK

So April 9th, now that's a day for me to remember for two reasons, it's not just my sisters birthday but also the birthday of my fiancée/best friend/training partner. And this year Pippa decided she wanted to do the Rough Runner 10km obstacle course, which I was more then happy to do. So we got two friends to join us. Unfortunately one couldn't make it due to 'Vertigo'; so then there were three. 

I learnt a lot about myself in that 2 hours. Now I'm a reasonably fit guy, but being faced with really steep stony hills in the burning sun (which really effects my asthma) your body gets challenged like never before.

We started off well; in fact we never really stopped doing well. We over took the group of 30 who left 20 minutes before us. Everything was going well - ended up in a few pools of water but all part of the fun right?

We came to a half pipe around 15ft high, I ran straight up it, no hands to hold at the top, easy. (Maybe wall running is my thing) Pippa also got to the top no trouble along with Darren, both who are between 5ft 1in and 5ft 5in.  So we trek on through farmers fields, up and down stupidly steep hills, diving through tyres, along plywood walls. 

All of these come easy, so where did I go wrong? Well I've always been a sprinter. I can run for miles don't get me wrong, but by body doesn't like it. Being stubborn I used carry on till I can't go any further. We had a target, reach the end and conquer 'The Travelator' in front of 100's of people. I could back out. Never quit. 

And snap, there goes my left calf muscle. 1.5km to the end. Not good. Deep massage it for a while, walk till it eases off. I struggle for the rest of the way. Pippa and Darren helping me through it.  Did I mention I have sciatica?? Yea I do, and it gets quite bad.

So we got to the last 10m and snap, there goes my right calf. Not good. We are in the line for the travelator and both my calfs have gone. I'm massaging them as deep as I can. Darren is first up, he falls half way. I'm next, less than a metre from the top my leg gives up, the bloke at the top tries grabbing me but a stubborn, I refuse as I want to make it on my own. So I'm move to the next one down. Run up it easy. Bit annoying that the start of the day we could try the fasted one as many times as you like. When we got there it was one attempt on each. I know deep down my 2nd attempt I would've done it.


But the hero of the day, Pippa, she fell but still kept pushing and made the fast one.  She is a little warrior.

The Morning After

I wake, I have work. Working in a 4.5m deep hole. The thought of ladders makes me cringe. I can barely walk. My sciatica has came back full strength. I'm currently waiting for my pick up wondering why I'm not resting in bed. Money, really is the form of all evil. The vans here. Time to tackle the day.

So just got to work, the van ride wasn't very comfortable, I got out and my body had pretty much seized up. Walking like a thunder bird. Don't think anyone had ever been hit by a planet before but I think this may be how it feels.

So what did I learn?

  • I need to work on my long distance running big time.
  • Don't wear running shoes that are 4 years old.
  • Sciatica is a bitch.
  • After a long event, take a day off to rest and recover.

When all is said and done done the questions are..

Was it worth it and would I do it again?

my answer...