The Whole Hog - Sunday Oct 20th 2013

Provoked by taunts from a collegue at work I eventually gave in at the last minute and entered The Whole Hog 2013 held at Wantisden Hall.
Forecast wasn't brilliant but the sun was out as I arrived at 9.30 for race registration. Collected a timing band and race t-shirt which most people seemed to plan to wear for the race - so I did as well (see later)
Race briefing for the individual event was preceeded by a massive downpour which had everyone scurrying for cover to try and keep dry - ironic as we were all about to jump in and out of something far, far worse shortly.

Very pretty race registration
Clouds soon gave way to a downpour
Luckily the rain stopped for the start and at 11.00 after a group warm up we were off. The first 3-4k was all basically cross country running which helped to string the field out. Smart move to get towards the front of the pack as overtaking later on was going to be hard. 4K in was the first water obstacle - steep bank into black smelly muddy water follwed by a wade across a pond then out the otherside up a cargo net. So wearing the heavy cotton t-shirt wasnt such a smart move as it now weighd a ton. About another 500m and it started to get a little easier to run as the water drained away. Not for long as another water obstacle - draining and sapping away at my energy. This pattern was pretty much repeated with longer and deeper immersions in increasingly smellier water and mud. Some nice mud lined tunnels to crawl through...

Check the colour of the mud!!
Then a man made trench with a cargo net to try and drown you...
Nearly there - about 4k to go

And a rope jump into deep water - swim to a pontoon - out, over swim to another pontoon, swim to the bank and a cargo net scramble out

Well knackered by now...
Long run section up across a muddy ploughed field to the imfamous Pirates plank...
Pirates Plank
where I was told "it's a bit slippy but only waist deep, mate". So I leapt of the 5ft plank and dissappeard into at least 10ft of water - completely submerged - very funny.
That was indeed the last wet obstacle and I was pretty done in by now but managed to pick up a few places on the 1.5k run in and even managed a little sprint finish.

So 6th in Vet (40+) class with 1:04:14, which would have been 38/149 in the Senior (-40) class. Well pleased with that.

Oh and what of my much younger workmate (Ben Baumguertel for those who know him) 1:15:53 - so somewhere way behind me...

Nuff said.

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