May’s Gelt Gladiator was the first mud run organised by Brampton’s Endurance Sports. Local resident Nicola Brooks shares her first experience of the “mud run” phenomenon which, in both cases, can be described as a great success!
Like many people, I signed up to Gelt Gladiator in January when the publicity started to make itself felt on social media. It was part of my New Year’s Resolution wave of optimism – previously only running the Race For Life and a sporadic gym attender for the last few years.
My choice of company for the day was perfect as our friends Dave and Kate were already booked to stay with us that weekend. So with the aid of a few glasses of wine, my husband and I persuaded them to join us for the event. We split into two groups – Dave & I tackling the 5K whilst Kate and my husband took our daughter Ella and their daughter Catherine on the Family Mile.
It was extremely tiring, and it was a good challenge for me, however it was quite enjoyable! With over five obstacles, including plunging into ice-cold water, many families got wet and muddy! (Ella aged 11)
We calmly wrote our race numbers on each others’ faces and stood around in the event village, becoming increasingly nervous.
After an efficient warm up, we found ourselves counting down to the start – and then flung unceremoniously into the first mud and water pit just metres away from the start line. A climb up the Motocross track followed, which started to sort the more serious runners from the rest of us.
I managed to haul myself over the first obstacle, a high wooden wall (with one or two footholds for the less able – ie me) and realised quickly that dignity was not going to be a priority today. Another short run brought us to the highlight of the event for me – at the bottom of a valley, what looked like a river of mud awaited us. It was in fact, a river of mud.
Dave grabbed my hand and we ran through the first 50 metres, seemingly walking on water – until we hit the mass of people struggling their way through the last, gloopiest stretch. We were all thigh deep in thick mud, loosing trainers, falling on our faces, on our backs, screaming and laughing – and at the end of this, a cargo net stretched over the mud river forced us into even closer contact with it.
Twenty plus obstacles faced us in total. There were queues of shivering people at key points, which will certainly need to be addressed by the organisers next year. I was overwhelmingly proud of myself for trying every single challenge – jumping over fire, dodging electric shock wires, plunging into icy pools and getting fully submerged in muddy water on three separate occasions. It definitely helps to have a supportive running partner / team – Dave pulled me through two or three that I did NOT want to be defeated by, and I felt lucky to have him with me. But still – I did it.
I started today as an apprehensive first-timer on the mud run scene. I am ending today as a euphoric mud run addict.
From an 11 year old’s point of view, Gelt Gladiator was an amazing event to take part in:
One of the highlights of the run is a huge, watery slide which people can slide, or walk (and slip) down. It also leads to a very cold pool of water to get all that mud off.
Overall, it was an amazing event to partake in, and I look forward to a long shower!
Gelt Gladiator will return in 2016!