The Dirty Weekend 2013 Race Report

 So far, far later and with far, far less detail than planned, I present the Tough Gaff’s review of the first ever Dirty Weekend which took place on Saturday 11th May 2013. I swear I did do a full write up, one that spanned the miles majestically, but due to circumstances at the time, I never quite got round to giving the post a final polish and hitting the publish button.

And today, when i came back to do just that, only a single letter remained; an ‘A’ for the curious. This means I have to re-write the whole bloody post tonight. We’re doing the Total Warrior Total Weekend again this weekend and doing another two events without covering the Weekend is, well, frankly embarrassing.

So, the Dirty Weekend promised to be 20 miles and 200 obstacles, the world’s biggest assault course, tougher than Tough Guy and Tough Mudder put together. You get the picture. Obviously once we became aware of this event, it was like a red flag to a bull, or perhaps more accurately the suggestion of a pint at any time the end of a long hard week at work. Let’s face it, collectively we have the breaking point of a KitKat when it comes to resisting events that promise a medal and to test our toughness, fitness stubbornness.

Initially we decide we would do the Half Mucker, 13 miles and 150 obstacles. Sean hasn’t run over 13.1, with the notable exception of the Yeovil half, since Prince’s suggestion to ‘party like it’s 1999′ was indeed a suggestion and not an invite to relive the last night of the 20th century. Obviously we eschewed that idea when it came to actually signing up and went for the full thing.


After a drive full of adventures from Yeovil to Burghley, mainly due to Sean’s aversion to owning a reliable car, we arrived at the Colleyyweston Slater, our digs for the weekend. Quick check-n and we went off to register.

There had been many dire warnings about making sure we had ID. That there would be no registration without ID. Obviously one of us , Sean, forgot our ID and we had to trudge back to the car to get it. So we were a little ticked when nary a mention of ID was made when we picked up our packs and t-shirts. A brief whinge and we headed back to the pub, which we liked a lot.

Pasta for brekkieIt was a great pub, and the landlord and lady were amazing. We politely requested porridge for breakfast, were told they  had none but they did have pasta and verily a bucket load was produced at 7am in the morning.

Full of carbs, we set off to the event. All was ok, apart from the seeming lack of toilets and the massive queue for the one block that was close to the start. Apparently there were more, just poorly signposted, and more were shipped in on the sunday for the camping people.

So to the race. To be truthful, it was now a long time ago and I’ve slept since then, so this report is going to be more a rough collection of short flashbacks and general impressions.

Overriding impression was that it was fun, a great venue, some great obstacles, like clambering through cars, over massive inflatables, having to tackle rugby players, more inflatables , this time the water, no electrocution, no fire, some lovely long lake wades. I think Sean’s favourite obstacle were the record-breaking monkey bars, a stretch of 110 meters of arm wrenching goodness. If you dropped off, which most people did, you then had to enter a crash barrier configuration that was designed to kill your triceps and glutes as you repeatedly hoisted your body over a barrier every metre for 110 metres.

It was pure, unending misery, which we appear to like.

IMG_2816Other things of note. I developed a fat wrist, or a Frist. Not normally an issue, or indeed something I noticed I only noticed this time because I had chosen to wear the get-you-into-the-party-later-wristband for the course, and as the hours passed the band go tighter, until with only three miles to go it was drawing blood.  Almost two months later I’ve got a scar in the outline of the band. Unfortunately discarding it as I did meant we couldn’t go see Ocean Colour Scene at the after party but as we heard the after party ran out of beer that was no great loss.

We were tempted to take the half mucker cut out at 13 miles  but carried on and spent most of the few miles in the company of a chap who had bust his ankle, he was determined to finish and we were delighted he did so.

And that’s all I can remember really. Oh, we were a little disappointed that every one got the same medal and t-shirt, there should have been some kind of recognition for the extra effort put in and cash paid out for the full experience.

Of course the main question is was it tougher than Tough Mudder and Total Warrior put together?

IMG_2809And the answer is no.

It took us ages, with Garmin’s stating we took 7 hours 37 to complete the 20 miles, though a mere four hours  and 40 minutes of that was moving time. Obviously we spent a lot more time than usual gasbaggin helping our fellow competitors out, but there was nothing truly terrifying or knackering, with the exception of the crash barriers. That said, it was a great event and we’ve already discussed doing it again next year.

We just have to get through 2013′s remaining craziness first ;-/


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