It was a glorious sunny day, a perfect start to our day at Trailtroopers. We had about a 40min drive to get us to the location, this was going to be our second year at this event, both John and I won the previous year so no pressure at all this year!
The postcode given got us to the car park but if I am going to be honest and I always am in my reviews we parked further up the hill. The allocated car park was a good 20 mins away from registration, all up hill to make sure the legs are warmed up ready to race. It is a nice walk that took you on some of the race route so you get to see part of what's to come including the hill for those lucky enough to be taking part in the 10k.
Once we arrived in the grounds of the beautiful Overtoun House registration was quick and easy and staff couldn't be more welcoming or friendly, what a wonderful location for an OCR, a good mix of trails, fields, hills and natural water. Facilities on site included catering, bag drop, changing and most importantly toilets.
Our wave was the first wave of the day starting at 10.50am. While we were waiting we got a good catch up with our OCR friends, old and new. It was great watching the faces of the newbies as we told them what the race had in store for them.
We got called down to the start line about 10mins before we started and had a short bouncy warm up to some banging music, it was a good laugh and got us all psyched up ready to race.
Before we knew it we had the countdown and we were off. The start was a run along the side then the back of the house down a slight slope and under a cargo net. We soon got through and ran round the other side of the house, up some steep steps and onto the main track that leads up to the house, we made our way down the track and started hitting obstacles straight way, first we jumped over a ditch at the side of the track and under a log then jumped back over the ditch back onto the track. Next up was a spiders web through some trees just off the side of the track. I had taken lead female from the start and still had my lead after this section.
The next section was mainly water based through parts of the river, for me this was the hardest part of the course, the water was cold, deep in places for short people like me and very slippy under foot. Firstly we went down a steep slope into the river and through a long dark tunnel, visibility was very poor so this slowed us down a good bit, I was glad to get out the tunnel, then we went down into a deeper part of the river making our way through rock pools and then a full water submersion under a canoe, over a huge tree then out the river. Freezing cold we made our way into the woods and had to do a rope traverse, fail and the punishment was 10 burpees, I made it easily across even though I was lacking feeling in my body from the cold water, we then went up and over the top of a field and then back into the river over a log, back out the river, then through a field that took us back onto the main track.
The first obstacle at this section was a tyre flip followed by a tyre carry, then over a couple of mini A-frames. We then went off the main track and onto trails which lead onto a few more river sections, not as deep or cold as the first water sections.
This was the last of the natural water on the course, next up was the start of the steep climbing section of the course. We start climbing up on trails and then some stairs, it was getting steeper and steeper. When the trails ended and we got out of the woods we could see the main obstacle of the day, the hill. We start the climb up over logs, through ditches and the climb gets steeper with every step. The terrain changes to steep marshy hillside and also a long set of stairs set into the hill. On the way up we have slippery slope and a very wet and marshy net crawl then more climbing into a small part of woodland near the top. More climbing and then at the top of the woods there was a spiders web. We then made our way further up over the top of some chopped down trees and branches and then at last, we were at the top, time to start the awesome decent.
This was my favourite section, a steep bit of hillside lead onto the first slide, soapy and wet we flew down, so much fun. Then it was a long gradual decent with a few boggy bits along the way, it was great to get the legs stretched out and pick up some serious speed. At the bottom we had loads of of obstacles to end the course. Firstly back into the river and through a small tunnel and back out. Then it was a short run into a tyre drag, log carry then onto parallel bars and A-line vault. Next up was a cargo net crawl, fast feet and then a traffic cone carry. This lead onto a wooden balance beam and a black out crawl, all these obstacles were fun and manageable, we took them at speed. The next obstacle was wooden panels to crawl under and through. At this point we are back at the main house, we can hear cheers from spectators and know the finish line is fast approaching. At this point in the race I am still lead female. I didn't see any other women on my way around. I traded places with a few guys on my way up but got ahead of a few nearing the top of the climb and kept my lead on the decent. I am sitting in 3rd place overall.
It's now time to tackle the final few obstacles. First up was a quarter pipe, I ran straight up and jumped off the top, then a barbed wire crawl, staying low I made it through unscathed. Then it was the huge second slide of the day. I ran and launched myself down face first, I went flying down the very soapy slippy slide jumped up and then over a 4 foot wall before a short sprint to the finish line. I was delighted to finish 1st female and 3rd overall. The best part of the day was my fiancé John being the overall winner of the day. He has been injured but his fitness is coming back strong. We got awesome dog tag medals, tee shirts as did all finishers, with a bottle of water and a banana. For winning we got amazing goodie bags that had products from NRG Sports Nutrition and Spa Day Passes to Cameron House Hotel.
I would like to thank everyone that was involved in the day, from marshals to medics, these events couldn't happen without you. The biggest thanks needs to go to Iain and Linda, we see how passionate you are about your events and your dedication and hard work pays off. It was a fantastic event for all the family. As well as the 10k, there was a 5k option and a kids 1mile race, they even had a Toddler dash. We had a fantastic day and we can't wait to do the Tinsel Dash at Chatelherault Country Park on the 29th of November. John and I loved the course so much on Sunday we ran it again in preparation for Bing Blazer ParkLife at Beecraigs Country Park this Sunday.
Well done Trail Troopers, you smashed it, awesomely tough event yet again.