I was persuaded by my Herefordshire-dwelling in-laws to take part in the Mudrunner Oblivion race in the grounds of Eastnor Castle near Ledbury.
Now this isn’t the usual kind of thing of thing I go in for. Wading through ponds, climbing fences, plunging into mud-filled Land Rover tracks and plunging head first down water slides.
Not really understanding what was ahead of me I decided to start the day by doing the Cannon Hill Parkrun. Despite this, by the 5pm start time of the Mudrunner my legs felt pretty fresh. They wouldn’t stay that way for long.
The race is basically a very hilly and muddy trail race with increasingly silly obstacles in the way. So what starts with a few fallen trees and fences to climb ends in monkey bars and a couple of chest-deep paddles through muddy ponds.
It’s more a fun run that a race but there was certainly some committed runners near the front. In fact for quite a while I was one of them, managing to maintain a position in about the top 30. Then, at about the 7k mark it went a bit wrong.
Having escaped intact from a rope obstacle with no-one visibly in front or behind of me I managed to go off-course. For about a kilometre. Only when I saw some runners coming the other way did I realise I’d gone round in a loop.
I doubled back (uphill!) and re-found the route which then entered its silliest section. It comes to something when I’m declaring that my race highlight was completing the monkey bars in my first attempt.
I finished 86th in 1:13:57 (out of 1,540 with only four people completing inside the hour). So very respectable despite being lost in the woods temporarily.
It’s such a silly race. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat….