One bills itself as the “The Safest Most Dangerous Physical Mental Task Day in the World”, the other to provide the other as the toughest 10 miles and 10k on earth. As team Tough Gaffs has now ran, well completed, both the Winter Tough Guy and Nettle Warrior, and the full Total Warrior Super Weekend, we thought we are ideally placed to offer our occasional visitor our thoughts on which is actually the toughest.
Starting with Total Warrior, as it’s freshest in the memory, and with the positives. It is seriously gorgeous, though the pouring rain on the saturday did spoil the view a little during the 10k. The extended run on the Sunday took us up onto the fells and the vista was wonderful. Unfortunately it doeesn’t bill itself as the most beautiful event but the toughest and on that front it doesn’t quite live up to its billing.
It was well organised, despite over 1,500 people needing to sign waivers and pick up their race packs on the Saturday, there were few queues. The free temporary tattoos and headbands were a nice touch. As were the clearly defined waves, which meant little to no bottle necks at the obstacles. The goody bags were OK, the t-shirt for the 10k was a little pony but the technical t-shirt for the 10m is pretty spiffy. The only problem with that bieng they didn’t have them in extra extra lardy for Sean*. The marshalls were all brilliant, especially the poor love looking after the river crossing, who got soaked on the saturday but had the coolest wellies I’ve ever seen on the Sunday.
All in all Total Warrior was fab, we’ve already said we’ll be back for next year and we’d thoroughly recommend it. The only downside of the whole thing was the obstacles. Not enough of them and definitely not tough enough, even the Shocker at the end only gave a bit of a tickle. Admittedly I did swear when I got the first zap on the Saturday but that’s more because I actually thought only Mr Mouse and Tough Guy would be the only people mean enough to actually electrocute people, so getting zapped shocked me in more than one way.
There’s a few tweaks that could be made to course as it stands to make it more challenging. Reversing the direction of the cargo nets so that you have to crawl up the hill, making the barbed wire crawl, actually barbed wire and lower. Not laying out the tyres in such a neat manner, making the tunnels longer etc.
The real issue is, is there isn’t really an obstacle on the course that strikes you with fear, or makes you go ” bugger” before you haul yourself over it. Its been almost eight months since we did Tough Guy and the thought of going round the Colosseum or the Torture Chamber again fills me with dread.
I know that mud-races, like Total Warrior, are designed to appeal to everyone and they seemed to have done a great job on getting people who have never done such a race along. So it may not want to have obstacles that strike fear into the heart of an experienced racer, let alone a n00b. However if that is the case then it should revise it’s tagline to, a lovely run out in the lakes with some obstacles to break up the hills. Not quite so catchy I admit.
So where does it stand against Tough Guy? It has the potential to be better than the original and the best but it isn’t yet, not by a long way. However, they have the space and the potential to be, they just need someone slightly more sadistic to design the course.
Oh and before anyone comments, which is unlikely, that there are other races out there like Tough Mudder and the Spartan Races which may be equally as tough or tougher than TW or indeed TG, we’re signing up to do those both their London races and will duly report back.
*Not that he’s fat, he’s just a very large human being or did you conclude from the photo above that he was normal size and the rest of the team are minuscule?