After thoroughly enjoying the Total Warrior 2012 10k, Team Tough Gaffs might have kicked back and enjoyed the post-race party in the on-off sunshine of Shap a tad too much. The local support was brilliant and we passed a happy few hours nattering away to new friends who had wandered up to see what was going on. This is one of the reasons that Total Warrior is such a great event, it definitely seems to be embraced by the local community and the breathtaking scenery means you can’t be anywhere but the Lakes.
Anyhoo after enjoying the delights of the party, then a pub in Shap and retiring back to our base of the Crown & Mitre in
Bampton Grange (great pub, friendly locals, awesome food and highly recommended), we might have drank a little bit more than we intended and not eaten any thing like as much as we should have. So it was with heavy heads and aching bruised limbs (see right) we dragged ourselves back to the start line for the 10am wave of the 10m on the Sunday morning.
The 10 mile course is exactly the same as the 10k, except after the third obstacle, Tyred, you head up a fell for the four mile extension to the course. As mentioned previously, Cumbria is a land of much up and not nearly enough down. This part of the race definitely has way more up than is strictly necessary but as also mentioned, the scenery is glorious and you certainly get the chance to admire it in full during this part of the course.
The racing snakes of the first wave soon left us behind but fortunately the next waves didn’t take long to catch up, so we had some people to banter with as we
sprinted trudged* ever upwards. Eventually we hit the top of the fell, paused briefly for a photo to be taken by the overly cheery Marshall, who probably got a quad bike up there, and started back down. We weren’t too far from the 6 mile marker when someone asked us if we had a ginger in the team as a lad wearing a Help for Heroes shirt had fallen and cut his knee. Her husband was running ahead to the marshall but the next one was a fair distance away, so Sean, as a qualified first aider made the call, and back up the bloody hill we went. Unfortunately there wasn’t much we could do, just wash out the wound and provide some plastic to wrap around the quality, will need skin grafts, hole in the poor lad’s leg. Once the marshall got there we started to head down once more.
The rest of the run back to Uncivilisation was pretty uneventful, a longish stop at the second water station while Sean briefed the waiting ambulance crew and we refilled the camelpaks and off to play in the mud we went.
There’s not much more to report on top of the Saturday write up to be honest. Highlights were the quality mud fight at the Worm Muncher; me managing to slip and fall on my bum at least three times, (I think the Walshes’ might need to be replaced – I sense some Innov8 bare-grips in my near future ) ;Sean falling on his bum in the penultimate river crossing, then remaining on his bum in the water while declaring he was sadder than an iccle ballerina that has lost her iccle ballerina shoes. Then finally the marshall/guardian of the logs claiming that we’d do anything for a rest as Sean and Ray helped a bloke with cramp back up the hill and I ferried the extra logs up, helped by another passing competitor. Though to be fair we did have a bit of a stand while we discussed stretching it out first.
So finally back over the line and the same beer, water, kendal mint cake, buff and t-shirt were thrust into our mucky paws, which was the only disappointment of the entire weekend. Last year the 10 mile warriors got a better quality, technical t-shirt, this year both sets got the same grey number – still a lovely shirt but a bit of a let down after last year. It would be nice to have something either different for the sunday or a way of marking out which idiots have completed both days.
Now that the race results are out, I can proudly confirm we still hold the course record for slowest completion at 4 hours 31 minutes 32 seconds though we weren’t last out on the course, we weren’t too far off.
The Sunday race is about two-thirds smaller than the Saturday 10k and the weather was a tad ickier, we got caught in a quality downpour as we hit the seven mile point, and so fewer people hung around. We watched the presentations of the huge chunks of slate to those blessed with greater speed, muscles and determination than us, cheered in the last two girls on the course, then headed back to the pub, job completed for another year.
So another great event and one that they seem to be planning to spread the love outside of the Lake District. There was a brief mention of the possibility of an event near London being announced soon, which of course we’ll have to go to as that’s pretty local in comparison. It will be interesting to see how it comperes to the original in terms of flavour and use of terrain.
Finally, we’d like to recommend that a soundbite from the following clip is somehow incorporated into the pre-start audio and we recommend that the bloke from the Shap chippy is the one to re-record it as his version of “Warriors, come out to plaaay” made our evening during the Saturday night chip shop stop.
*To trudge: the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on. Geoffrey Chaucer, a Knight’s Tale 2001