Pain and Suffering

Today, I stumbled across a brand new 10k/10mile race, and I’m not sure what to think of it. On one hand, it looks quite .. well, not fun, but maybe satisfyingly challenging!? And my stubborn, competitive side is trying to make me focus on how awesome it would feel to cross the finish line. On the other hand, the name seems pretty apt, and I think you’d have to be nuts to even consider it.

Maybe I’m just nuts.

The 10k race is The Suffering, and the 10 mile version is the Pain and Suffering. Whilst by the names alone, neither of these sound worth going anywhere near, part of me is half considering it. Realistically,  reading through the obstacles, I’d probably get a mile in and want to go home! 

The legendary Rockingham Castle holds host to its first bout of Suffering in June 2013. The grounds boast vicious terrain, including hills, valleys, mud, water, and nettles, natural and definitely unnatural obstacles including the Land Rover Experience course, The Gauntlets and The Killing Zone guaranteed to make the soul despair.’
When put like that .. yeah, I probably wouldn’t last ten minutes. But imagine if I did! Whilst tough runs can be physically and mentally draining and make you feel like curling up in a ball and never moving again, getting through those sorts of experiences is SO rewarding. My 16-miler was the worst (sporting) experience of my life, but I felt almost hyper once I had showered and curled up on the sofa in a big slouchy jumper with a mug of hot chocolate and a satisfying ache to .. well .. my entire body.
But this one does look excruciating!

Check out a ‘taste’ of the obstacles:

  • The Press: Straight off the bat we get you on your knees, crawling through the mud. A little audience participation here as your friends, family and total strangers pelt you with wet sponges in an area designed to make you an easy target.
  • The HolHollHollow: The first of our water obstacles.
  • The Tunnel: A modest bridge you would normally be encouraged to pass over. Where would be the stinking mud in that. Mind out above you though because there might well be some gunge coming your way.
  • The Training Gauntlet: this figure of 8 in a deep set bowl is here to test you. Visibility might be an issue. Don’t expect to be able to move freely.
  • Valley Run: Steep muddy banks are the name of the game here. Try to stay upright as we send you darting in and out. Watch your footing this is not the time or place for speed.
  • Engineered Suffering: We are not unveiling these obstacles just yet. These are our flagship obstacles. Designed and constructed by engineers who also compete. You will not be able to prepare for these.
  • The Gauntlet: We’re entering 4×4 territory now; this is a ¼ mile of hell. Steep banks litter the landscape, it’s uneven under foot. It’s slippery, water logged and we’re going to chuck in a few nasty surprises. How’s your arm strength, fancy picking up something large and uncomfortable. Now you have to take this over, through, under everything this section throws at you. If you get to the end and you don’t have it, we’ll send you back to the beginning.
  • The Ford: This is the second of our water tests. speed may be your enemy here.
  • The Field Traverse: Barbed wire lines this narrow stretch. Don’t expect to be able to move quickly here.
  • The Nets: This isn’t your everyday set of cargo nets. You’re the meat in the sandwich and the nets are the bread. There’s no quick way through this little beast.
  • The Ponds: Water obstacle number 3. You are going in! Beware though it’s not just water here, there will be a special little something here to make it a little more challenging ;)
  • If you run around Rockingham you’ll know about Rockingham Hill. Many an over confident runner has fallen foul. Of course this isn’t all we’re going to ask you to do. Oh, and you’ll have to repeat this little stretch, on the bright side you get a lovely view of the castle. On the down side your hyperventilating may spoil the ambience.
  • The Assault course: We couldn’t leave this out, tyre runs, A-Frames, cargo nets, crawl tunnels, we will of course have a special little something in there for you too.
  • An obstacle race wouldn’t be an obstacle race if it didn’t have a big wall, but or a sequence of killer walls.
  • The finish: You’ll be the happiest person alive when / if you make it to the finish and we’ll have your goody bag waiting for you. Get your photo taken before getting changed, don’t worry all the photos are free; just like us on Facebook and we’ll send them over to you.

.. Yeeeah, maybe not!

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