In May the sun was shining, the birds were singing and we penned an exciting Sandbag deal with a new OCR (Obstacle Course Race). In November the rain was pouring, the wind was blowing...and we were starting to wonder what we had gotten ourselves in to!
The inaugural Judgement Day event took place in April 2014. Race Director's, Mark Buller and Dean Havilland Newman, have a knack for concocting gruelling obstacles and their long distance Sandbag carries are fast becoming the bane of OCR competitors lives. The original hessian sacks they used weren't quite fit for demands of the course and so Judgement Day approached Jordan Fitness requesting to use our Sandbag X-Treme, which was the only Sandbag capable of repeatedly surviving their courses.
We saw this as a fantastic opportunity, not only to be associated with such a credible and professional company within a booming sector of the industry, but also to see our product really standing up to the ultimate test of durability.
Three members of the Jordan Fitness team assembled on the start line at 9am on a cold, wet, windy Sunday morning, ready to tackle the course which took place over 10 miles of muddy terrain on a military tank training base. Myself, Matt and Natasha disguised ourselves as OCR enthusiasts and headed off with the first wave of competitors. First couple of miles were almost enjoyable - lots of mud and water, dodging abandoned tanks and wading through mud which in places was neck deep. But just as we began to think that OCR was 'fun' or 'easy' we made it to the mountain of Sandbags where everything changed.
Nobody was 100% sure how far the Sandbags were carried, some say 2km, others say more than 3km, all we know is that it was a very long way. As if the distance wasn't bad enough, the terrain was brutal. There seemed to be hills at every corner, how can you go uphill all the way round a course and still end up back in the same place without ever going downhill? Distance and terrain were gruelling, but then some comedian put a series of walls, fences and waist deep water in the way, all topped off with a 25m section of barbed wire to crawl under...with your Sandbag of course.
Not only did Jordan Fitness provide all the Sandbags, but we also had two rigs specially made for the event which tested your upper body strength to its limits. The first rig had two components - monkey bars on the way out, then following a couple of miles through the swampy forest we came back through the rig via the Gladiator style Olympic rings. The second rig was used for the 3m high rope climb finale. Both of these rigs and all of the Sandbags will be featured at future Judgement Day events, so if you are planning to take part then you know what to practise.
In total there were 22 obstacles throughout the entire 10 mile course, including giant 8ft walls to climb over, the dreaded bucket carry and many more. Feedback from participants on the day, through social media sites and from articles/reviews written by experts determined that the general consensus was that the Sandbag carry was by far the toughest and strangely the most enjoyable obstacle. The entire race was so much fun. Although it was really tough, and with the weather being so bad we were all mightily relieved to see the finish line, but looking back it was a very challenging and rewarding experience.
If you haven't already done an OCR event then I highly recommend it as a great way to test your physical and mental ability. A few big names have dominated the market for several years but they will all have one eye over their shoulder as Judgement Day is coming.
For details on how to participate in the next event visit www.judgement-day.co.uk for details - but be warned, it's going to be bigger and better every time.