I had a fantastic day at the Ninja Warrior competition at the Arch Climbing Wall. This was the first ninja style competition in London. Twenty competitors duke it out in three obstacle heats where you are ranked based on your course time or the obstacles completed.
Jacob Peregrine-Wheller (Ninja Warrior UK contestant), the organiser from West Coast Parkour was incredibly welcoming regardless of ability, for both regulars as well as newcomers like myself. The session started with a fun icebreaker warm up. All through the day everyone was very supportive of one another's performances. It was a great creative use of the space with regards to the obstacles and it was just as enjoyable to have an opportunity to try out these new contraptions! The whole day was brilliant and inspiring. I would definitely recommend West Coast Parkour for ninja and parkour training.
As for my performance I was a little disappointed with messing up with some of the balancing obstacles. I feel I should definitely be a lot better at this considering I'm a skater! An area not to overlook!
Watching the others perform feats which sounded impossible was incredibly inspiring though!
For the third year running the London Inline Marathon was back at the Queen Elisabeth Olympic Park.
Before the race began I did a warm up run around the venue. My logic was to leave it as late as possible to ensure my body felt pumped and ready. After I dashed to secure my items in the locker. I was with my friend Elisabeth and we were having issues making the lock, lock! So as I hear racers for the half marathon being called Elisabeth kindly took my belongings with her and I dashed to boot up. As I placed my skates on the tarmac I see that skaters were already racing on the other side of the track! So that's gold out of the question!!
In my defence they did start five minutes early. Lesson learnt all the same though!
The race itself was fun. Like the previous year when I did start with everyone else I was skating without pacing with anyone for practically the whole race. I'm quite happy doing that, especially as I haven't practiced any sort of pacelining this year.
I have however been doing a fair bit of running. Up to 11 miles that is. The distance over-training helped with my 9k obstacle race last week and I definitely felt the benefit too with the skate half marathon. I attacked each lap with a solid effort, with lap time differences being less than 30 seconds.
Despite the initial mishap I had a good time rolling around the track on the speed skates.
My half marathon time was:
48minutes 21 seconds
3rd in the Senior age category.
Photos © 2017 Chun Wah NG
Don't get me wrong, it was a lot of fun at today's Survival of the Fittest event at Wembley.
However the course was a kilometre shy of the usual 10k and there were noticeably less obstacles. We're not talking of just missing a hay bale to climb. A lot of stand out obstacles were absent such as 'The Big One,' a multi containership to scale, monkey swinging from suspended barrels, running through the beer tent with a keg and the travelator!
Although I was on an early wave it definitely felt quieter than usual. My friend on the final wave said his experience was much the same. The event has downscaled.
So this begs a question.
Are we already on the decent of the craze that is obstacle course racing?
I really hope we are not seeing the shrinking of OCR as its opened up a whole area of fitness that I've come to appreciate and it would be unfortunate for others to not have the opportunity to do so too. Today I enjoyed running the race on my own to really push myself, but I still enjoy partaking as a group where you can really bond and conquer experiences together.
Well, lets see what the future holds...
"Any tips, reviews and advice are my own opinions and are not to be taken as professional view points. The information on this site is what has worked for me and is here for guidance only, but I hope you gain insight into the various activities I partake in." Jonathan Chen