It was great to revisit this event and see how much Rough Runner has improved since its first race. Rough Runner has become an extremely refined OCR.
Events always ask you to arrive an hour before your wave and so we did. We weren't expecting to be offered to run an extra race for free though! The organisers were looking to see how fast people can complete their 5k course. My friends declined but I stepped up to this. I took the lead very quickly in my wave so it ended up being quite a lonely race for the most part, occasionally overtaking someone from an earlier wave. One big bonus is that there were no queues! It certainly had a different event feel with no one around but I enjoyed the banter and encouragement from the marshals. My time wasn't the fastest overall that day but I managed to make it back in time to join my friends for the warmup of my actual race.
I was glad to have got the speed element done as my friends were taking it much slower than I anticipated. At least it was nice to have the company for the 10k and it also allowed me some extra camera time!
So do I prefer to race an OCR or complete it as a group? From a sport point of view I do prefer to run and attack it. Although I do equally enjoy the social aspect, but the obstacles do make a difference. If I'm waiting around for people it can reduce the adrenaline kick and I can be left jumping up and down just to keep warm, especially if I'm soaking wet. In certain races it may give me an opportunity to go back around and complete the obstacles again if there are no queues. For some events the obstacles have to be completed individually so it lacks the camaraderie of proper group obstacles. To answer the question above is hard to say, I guess mixing things up is good, keeping whatever I do engaging and fresh.
All in all Rough Runner is very good, I just feel the price may be major deterrent, especially for people on the fence and new to OCR.
So this story is true to the letter. I joked to my friend showing him a video of Toughest asking him if he’d like to join me. He laughed and said “I’d do it if it was 5k and you had to eat a doughnut every kilometer.” I made my other friend confirm witness to that statement before pulling up the Doughnut Dash webpage… “Gotcha!”
I think having done so many races this year the Doughnut Dash 5k race didn’t really give something to shout about. Having said that a lot of people looked like they were having a great time. My friend I ran with already said that he wants to do it again next year and take his daughter along for the kids race.
Ironically the Doughnut Dash’s official charity is Kidney Research UK.
Whilst the actual event cost is very good at £16.00, my train ride to Colchester came up to £27.00. So putting that into consideration it’s quite a pricey long trip for me to do a 5k event, even if food is included.
My general gripes I guess are personal and I think a lot of people will enjoy this sugary pursuit, especially with a big group of friends.
I’ve heard so much positivity about Toughest that I had to do this event. Their inaugural UK event was in “London,” which like so many other OCR organisers was nowhere near London. Upon further research it appeared that their Copenhagen and Olso events were quite convenient to travel to via public transport. With the London event it would involve an expensive taxi ride so paying a little more to experience a different country just seemed a lot more appealing. As I’d never been to Norway it was an easy choice to make Oslo our destination.
Our flights with SAS came to around £110.
We made a long weekend of Oslo and stayed 3 nights at the Saga Poshtel which was around £100 each.
The event itself was very well organised. Plenty of well spaced obstacles, which a lot of them required good grip and upper body strength to complete. The whole penalty system with multi lane obstacle options worked really well. As two of us ended up waiting around for our other teammates we actually went around to try out all the obstacles if there wasn’t a queue for them. For the hanging hoops the harder option is with every other hoop missing, so skipping a hoop on the standard lane made me realise it was possible for us to complete the fast lane version. On other occasions we just went around again to get a better camera shot!
It wasn’t till I was reviewing the GoPro footage that I realized just how clear the water was at Toughest Oslo. UK events usually feature much browner water!
They had the salmon ladder but they weren’t enforcing any penalties for us with this. So I had two attempts. On the second attempt I actually manage to kip up, even though it was just one notch I was incredibly ecstatic to have done this. “It is possible!”
The dragons back obstacle was the first obstacle that I did not even attempt at a race. You had to leap from one platform to the other. Looking at it now I feel I could have done it but if the confidence is not there at the time it’s not worth risking it, especially as my gloves were soaked at the time. My friend François completed no problems though.
A lot of the obstacles I felt it was just about in reach for me, so for shorter people it would definitely have been a struggle.
The final obstacle was unique to the Oslo event, the ski slope. It took us a good 4 minutes on our hands and feet to scale. The last ten metres allowed you to stand up right but my legs felt super heavy, like gravity had been ramped up. Certainly one of the most memorable finishes at an OCR.
All in all it was a fantastic weekend with a new event and experiencing some new culture too.
One last thing, on our way back to the city the metro train ahead of us derailed (no serious injuries as far as we are aware) so we had to hail a taxi. Quite difficult when so many others were doing the same. On the plus the train operator will pay NOK 550 for any journey that you are delayed for twenty minutes or more if it is their fault. They at first were not going to pay the full taxi fare but we argued that we actually saved them money by the four of us getting a taxi together, which they agreed to. Happy ending!
"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