As you may recall back in September I completed my first ever Tough mudder. A few weeks later I was asked if I would like try out the Nuclear races at the Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker, so I thought yeah, why not?
Unlike when I did Tough mudder, I actually had a few weeks to train and prepare for this trail run. I upped my running, making 5km runs 10km and adding in at least three sets of pull ups to each gym session.
My first step in planning how to finish this run was to compare the course. Tough Mudder is 10-12 miles long with 20+ obstacles compared to Nuclear races which is 12km long and housing 90+ obstacles.
In my mind more obstacles in less ground meant that the obstacles had to be smaller and more frequent to fit them all in. I based my training on simple plyometric jumps for agility, yoga for reach and movement and pull ups for body weight ability. These are the key elements to being successful in any obstacle course.
I quickly realised that because the run was in November it would be a lot colder. This meant I needed to wrap up warmer than before and be more mindful of the impending muddy doom I was going to embark on.
Given that I knew this course would be colder and muddier than when I did Tough mudder I decided to buy myself a compression top for underneath my tank top to keep me warm. I also donned a snood which I picked up on the day at the start line to keep my neck and ears warm.
The day arrived and it was raining. The car was saying eight degrees and it rained the whole way there and the whole way around the course. Although this was not tough mudder, I had never been so muddy in my life.
My favourite obstacle of the course has to be be the Zip line across the river, this was by far the easiest and most fun obstacle on the course. All you had to do was clip the trolley cable to the line, add the rope handles and you were away down over the river! It was pretty awesome.
The worst obstacle was probably the tire wall. With so many people competing at the same time I found that the tyre obstacles moved a lot making it harder to balance and disorientating when pivoting over the top of the obstacle.
After just under three hours I crossed the finish line, covered head to toe in mud! I was exhausted (it was still raining) but it felt so good to get under their hot showers. I grabbed my winning cuppa and headed straight back to the car to defrost!
Although the nuclear races are a lot shorter than tough mudder don’t be fooled, in November, this 12k is not for the faint hearted.
Photos by Kristy Barber
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