WWWUK takes on The Gauntlet Games
On the 14th of May, Wonder Woman put on their game faces and tackled the Gauntlet Games obstacle course race in Trent Park.
It was an early start for the South East London crew, travelling into the depth of… the horror… North London. Once in the park, we could see the last few obstacles of the race being inflated, increasing our excitement as we headed to start line; race numbers emblazoned on our foreheads, a vision in fuchsia.
The Gladiators initially said they would let us go in groups of 15, but once our wave heard the yell of ‘GO!’ we all surged forward (obviously already channelling our inner gladiators) and we were off!
The first obstacle was the monkey bars, which Sarah and Suz swung across with ease. The rest of us had slightly more trouble and, as a result, fell into the water below. Then it was off (some running, some… squelching) to the inflatable zone of balls. This was two inflatable areas, one filled with lots of large balls with the challenge being to squeeze through the other side; whilst the other was filled with smaller balls which had the added bonus of being able to throw them at other people trying to get through (Suz being the main target in my books… I was looking for payback after a betrayal on Rough Runner last September). Sliding out the other side, we came face-to-face with Carli from ‘Project Hot Bitch’, clad in Gladiator gear and gleefully throwing more balls at us. After a quick hello, we charged off to the next obstacle.
For the first 2.5km, the obstacles came thick and fast –a seesaw, space-hoppers, a huge slip and slide and an obstacle which none of us knew what we were meant to do involving a bucket, gladiator and a tennis ball. So in true Wonder Woman style, we ignored all the rules and charged at the Gladiator who squeaked in fear: ‘you’re not meant to tackle me!’… whoops!
Then was the split between the 5km and the 10km route. We had all opted for the 10km and began our 5km of extra trail through the forest. For someone who doesn’t really enjoy running, this was a really nice route. As always with these types of races, everyone is friendly and encouraging, which keeps everyone in good spirits. Also, we had decided before to stay as a group which meant that there was a lot of chatting and giggling going around the course. As well as a couple of extra obstacles like scaling a wall and a ‘spider’s web’; the race states that there are a lot of ‘natural obstacles’ on this section of the race, this meant leaping over ditches, ducking under and hurdling over branches and logs, as well as dragging ourselves through thick mud.
The final 2.5km reintroduced the obstacles. A climbing wall came first, then a tightrope walk (luckily with something to hold on to) with a gladiator trying to knock you off. The last few obstacles were undoubtedly the best, as we leapt off the tightrope walk there was a shriek of ‘FOAM!’ from Amy, who sprinted away towards a huge inflatable slide, overflowing with bubbles and foam. Apparently we were meant to slide through on our stomachs, but we just enjoyed running through it. Suz also showed her true colours by pushing Anne into the bubbles just before the end of the slide, meaning she could leap to safety.
Then there were inflatable tunnels and hurdles to tackle before a sprint to the finish and the final obstacle. Just before the finish line we had to climb a ladder onto a platform and then use the rope to swing off it onto the inflated mats below. Then dash past the Gladiators to the finish. Unfortunately, Sarah managed to dislocate her shoulder on this last challenge but still crossed the finish line (luckily she’s now fine).
It was a really great event and a lot of fun. Our team was a mix of people completely new to the wonderful world of OCR races, and some seasoned veterans. There was something for everyone and we all had a fantastic time, we’re already planning the next adventure. Steph wore a GoPro for the race and you can check out and video here: WWWUK@TheGauntlet