Suffering on behalf of Ospreys

On Saturday 12th March, IEPUK director George Peach took part in a gruelling 10 mile run/obstacle course, all in the name of Osprey conservation! George has participated in several difficult, exciting, crazy and admirable events in order to raise money for the Osprey Project’s important education work in West Africa. We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to George for successfully completing yet another one, and raising over £200 for the Project.

prior-to-the-start

Here is George’s account of the day:

This journey all started in mid-2015, I was already signed up to one obstacle race (to come in May 2016) and a half marathon, but I thought that I’d never undertaken such a race and really I should practice. Seeing as the one I’m doing in May is 20 miles I thought I should pick something that is a good distance and sells itself as “tough”. This lead me to The Suffering, for which there are three distances, not less than 5km, not less than 10km and not less than 10 miles, plus an option to do all three. Given that the race I was already signed up for is 20 miles I thought I’d pick the 10 mile course, or more to the point as not less than 10 miles and appropriately titled “Pain and Suffering”.

Once I had told Julie, my wife, that I’d signed up for these she gave me a birthday present of 1 month membership to attend something called CrossFit. Now I am not one to go to a gym and this “CrossFit” seems like a bare basics gym where you go to generally cause yourself harm! However, I said thank you and went along to my first session one Wednesday morning at 6am. All I can say is that I enjoyed it so much I now go 4 or 5 times per week at 6am out of choice.

So the time went by and before I knew it 12 March 2016 was tomorrow, for medicinal purposes a glass of wine or two were had to help achieve a good nights sleep before the race and then, beep, beep, beep it’s 7am on race day.

I drive to the race location at Rockingham Castle about 15 minutes from home through thick fog but thankfully no rain, as only two days earlier the local valleys had been heavily flooded! I park the car and head over to the event village.

It was a pretty foggy start to the day. Once I had arrived and registered I had a bit of time to kill before my race wave was underway. As with most races of this type you start in waves which are usually spaced 15 minutes apart to help to reduce waiting time on the obstacles.

With 20 minutes to go it was time for me to hand in my bag together with my jacket! Which when you are wearing compression items which help keep you dry and warm when moving and running leaves you very cold in 3 degrees and only standing waiting!

But now I had my number pinned on and I was ready to go, after a short safety briefing and the reiteration that the course was at least 10 miles flares were let off and my wave started to pass over the start line. At this point I found myself wondering not only “what am I doing here” but also “this is exciting”! The first obstacle was a low level a-frame to bound over and continue on.

larger-a-frame

Then there was a slightly larger a-frame before going through a gap in a hedge where supporters could not see. But this gave way to having to relay a 5 gallon barrel full of water across a field and back then running through a muddy ditch, over a large number of railings before jumping through a skip filled with water. All this and we had not covered half a mile. After a short run it was time for the next obstacle.

cargo-net-through-water

This water was pretty cold and was followed by the marshal (at this event known as Reapers) dishing out 5 burpees. From here we went on to find another Reaper who handed out a number of high knee running on the spot, star jumps and more burpees and then through a maze of obstacles from over cargo nets and under them and round tree branches before then a long run through to the next major obstacle. I’ll not list all the obstacles as this would make my update extremely long so here are a few photos of the day and a few obstacles:

keep-going-don't-touch-the-ground and-jump muddy

All in all I really did enjoy it, for my distance there were 350 who completed and I finished in 71st with a time of 4 hours 10 minutes. The hardest this was doing sit-ups in deep water as I just got cold bringing on cramp in my calf, as for the best and worst part… I don’t really know, as I really enjoyed all of it! I have bruises and cuts on both arms (mainly the right as it goes from wrist to shoulder), both legs and shins plus a cracked rib. But all this just shows that it was no simple walk in the park, I really am looking forward to the next one!

Thank you to all those who have sponsored me, we have raised well over £200 for The Rutland Osprey project and specifically in what they are doing in The Gambia to better the education on offer to school children. This money will all be put to good use and we will be having blogs from The Gambia showing just what this money is achieving as that is what is so important! To sponsor our on-going efforts do check here to see what we are up to next!

just-after-the-start

You can still sponsor George for the incredible feat he achieved at the weekend. Click here to donate!