On the 18th July 2015, the Clockwork team took part in the Rough Runner obstacle course based in East Meon, Hampshire in aid of pancreatic cancer. Despite the early Saturday morning start, the team were upbeat, excitable and possibly a little bit nervous too! Arriving an hour before our wave start time at 11.40am, we had time to sign in, have a drink and warm up comfortably before setting off.
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The obstacles: http://roughrunner.com/obstacles/
Immediately from the start line, we were faced with a steep hill run all the way to the first obstacle which was a set of 4 hurdle-like bars laid out just in front several rows of tyres called "Through the Wringer". Then it was a short distance to the next obstacle. Inspired by many TV shows such as Takeshi's Castle, Total Wipeout and the 90's classic 'Gladiators', some obstacles reflected upon this inspiration. For example, "Swept off your feet" consisted of several stepping stones across a deep and frighteningly cold pool with a set of spinning arms which span in random directions and sequences. Some of us leapt across the stones narrowly avoiding a collision path, naturally the rest took a refreshing dip, taking a moment out of the scorching sun.
Soaking wet, we squelched our way onward to the next obstacle appropriately named "Ramp it up". The ramp itself seemed achievable from a distance, however when we made it to the front of the queue of competitors eagerly awaiting their turn, we quickly realised how mountainous it really was! The nerves heightened when a fellow competitor fell from the top of the ramp and tumbled down the netting, hitting the ground with quite a thud! Luckily after a few worrying moments, he rose to his feet and continued on with the course. Our turn! One by one we launched ourselves up as fast as our legs could propel us, snatching at the ropes or grabbing those helpful hands that extended at the top. Once at the top, we got to experience a level of camaraderie by helping others reach the top.
By far the muddiest part of the course was the pond. No way around it, no way over it, we had to go through it! Caked from head to toe in algae and mud there was quite a distance to cover until the next obstacle. The following 4 stages took a more fun direction with obstacles like Big Balls, Nelson's column, Cyclone and the giant water slide! However it wasn't without it's challenges, there was a very steep hill climb on part of the route leading up to the slide.
The final obstacle had quite an epic presence on the course, it's the first thing you see when you arrive at the site and the last thing you tackle when on the course. "The Travelator". As we were running through the woods towards it, we could hear the crowds cheering and supporting those participating. With the addition of a slight queue, the anticipation and tension grew as we stepped closer. There were two different travelators with different speed options. Reasonably fast and very fast! (Essentially they're treadmills in reverse gear. The entire team made it to the top. Whether it was the first or the fourth attempt, it became apparent that all of us were going to persevere until every obstacle was completed.
We left with a sense of pride, achievement and certainly with the urge to sign up for more in the near future! We'll be back!