We like to see races evolve rather than rest on their laurels, so that’s why we’re looking forward to Commando Series’ upgraded course on their return to Hever Castle this year on the 11th and 12th November.
In their next event, aptly arranged for remembrance weekend, Commando Series promises to pay homage to obstacle racing’s military heritage by delving right into the Royal Marines handbook and bringing us some challenging new obstacles.
Luckily for you, we’ve got some insider info, so that you can steel yourself for what lies ahead:
- Leap of Faith
Nowadays, no race would be complete without an obstacle that tests your mental grit. Toughest have their Dragon’s Back, and now Commando Series have their leap of faith. Based on lessons from Marine Commando training, wherein recruits need to remain stoic in the face of darkness and danger, the Leap of Faith will see runners having to take a drop through an underground tunnel that might be a bit of a squeeze. Fret not, for instructors will be on hand to demonstrate the technique for shuffling off the edge, if you dare to take the plunge.
- Raiders of the Lost Commando
This is a relatively unique way of incorporating a river crossing into a race; Raiders requires racers to jump aboard a Rigid Raider vessel and haul themselves across the water. This beach assault vessel is pretty likely to assault your upper body strength, so get thee to a gym… Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
This will come into play at an arguably cruel stage of the race, right towards the end of the course. Just as your muscles are tiring, you will be faced with five two metre high gates over which you must conquer. Again, instructors will be on hand to help recruits perfect their swingover technique to increase speed efficiency when they need to be on their game for the finish.
What else is on offer?
Commando Series is staying faithful to the setup at the real Royal Marines Commando Training Centre in Devon, bringing exact replicas of their obstacles to be attempted in the picturesque setting of Hever Castle. Old favourites will also be returning, so runners can enjoy a Sheep Dip, negotiate the Monkey Bars or take a dunk in Peter’s Pool.
Impressively, there are 21 major obstacles along the 6km course, making this race another great contender for those who don’t enjoy a large run:obstacle ratio. Those who really want a challenge can even take it on twice, and those who are REALLY dedicated can complete the race whilst bearing a 21lb load of combat webbing and dummy rifle.The beauty of Commando Series is that it allows competitors to quite unapologetically wear their intentions on their sleeves; there is an aptly named ‘Just Get Me Round’ option, and the hardest of hardcore can opt for the ‘Treat Me Like A Commando’ experience. Just to be wholly inclusive, the ‘We Are Family’ option allows families with children over eight to complete the course with encouragement from the instructors along the way. You can tailor your experience according to your own goals.
What do I get out of it?
Recruits can look forward to a t-shirt on arrival, and are afforded the option to ‘cam up’, before enjoying/enduring a Royal Marines warm up by an ex-Marine PT. We’re exhausted just thinking about that, but it will certainly keep you warm on a November morning. A particularly respectful touch will be the Remembrance Service, which will be held on both days.
We’re really pleased to support another race that will test the serious racer, but encourage the novice in a supportive yet authentically challenging environment. You can even take it on for a good cause as well as your own sense of achievement, as The Royal Marines Charity officially endorses Commando Series.
If you’ve got what it takes to be a Commando, check out www.commandoseries.co.uk for registration information, and catch the end of the early bird pricing while you can, because those prices are a steal for a well-constructed OCR right now.
Thanks to Commando Series for illustrations and event photos.