Last weekend, an intrepid group of mud runners negotiated both rail and road to try out Tough Mudder's newest venture, a 5k in an iconic urban sporting venue: The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Not only was this the first event of its kind in the UK, there was also the added excitement of doing it in the dark.
Aside from the hardcore TM fans, Friday night's runners, fresh from the office, seemed mostly new to obstacle racing. They'd probably been cajoled into it by some keen bean in the accounts department - who knows? All we know is that everybody looked like they were having an absolute riot. With their commutes corrupted, the newly christened obstacle racers seemed pumped about completing an event they had previously thought was 'too hard' or 'too long'. The event village was packed with enough food and drink stalls to create that festival atmosphere, and it was one of the best fun laps we've had in a while.
Flash forward to Saturday, and there seemed to be more regulars about - some were slamming through the course as quickly as possible, and others were taking in the awesome cityscapes that aren't really a mainstay of UK OCR. The help-your-fellow-Mudders ethos that TM is known for was being upheld, and again, the event seemed absolutely perfect for those just wanting to dip their toes into the world of high walls, low crawls, and stepping on your mate's shoulders. No mud or water on the course made it super easy to deal with too - no awkward, shivery journeys home on public transport, just good clean(ish) fun.
TM5K is, as predicted, the perfect gateway for the 'not quite sure' runner, or one wanting to try a new challenge. I'd thoroughly recommend that you drag a newbie to one of their upcoming events - they've just released some more dates and venues. A price rise is scheduled for TONIGHT, so get your name down for some of the best fun you'll ever have on your way home from work, and take your colleagues! I took my boss along on Saturday, fully stood on him, and still haven't been given a P45, so there's hope for us all.