I've gone back to the sloping paving where I first managed to stay upright on the freeline skates to practice more on the left side. (going in the left direction). Re-learning the left side has probably taken longer than the first time for some reason, but progress is being made.
My right side is also improving though. Skating on the right side reminds me of the awesome freeline feeling I can achieve. This keeps me motivated and the fact I eventually would like to be able to do a 180 switch..
Before the event I was contemplating to either go all out solo or to stick as a team. I choose the later as I was the one responsible for convincing everyone that this was a good idea. The rep had to make sure everyone had a good time after getting them to part with £50.
Straight forward, however for a team you need to pay the whole lot in one go.
You chase your teammates for cash yourself and then you can add and change them as you need to on your event page, up to 14 days prior to the event. Note that you can’t change your team name after sign up. (At least not direct through the site).
Well organised. You get a tshirt but it’s first come first serve so you may not get the size/colour you want, particularly for the evening slot. There a secure locker if you need and another area for your bags. Plenty of porterloos of the usual standard. No shower facilities at hand but there is separate male/female changing room tents.
The guys on stage got us going with a warm up consisting of running on the spot, star jumps and other standard exercise stuff which we haven’t done in a long time. It was only 5 minutes but we were left short of breath wondering if perhaps we should have conserved ourselves for the race! This being our first obstacle race I felt like school kids sheepishly walking to the start point/exam hall thinking I should have practised more star jumps…
Before the race start we were had a couple of minutes to compose, out came the GoPro to get a few smiles and waves from my team.
At the starting line we were mid pack. It was pretty frantic over the first obstacle. I was happy to wait a moment or so, to avoid getting kick whipped by the people in front launching themselves over the hay bales.
As we made our way through the course we may have got ahead at certain parts but we’d then regroup, helping each other over the various obstacles.
Marshals were on hand if you needed a boost or a verbal encouragement. Humouring you along, requesting your best Tarzan scream on the rope swing.
As this was the 5k course the amount of running wasn’t any more than 4 minutes before coming across another obstacle. In fact we didn’t really feel like we’d done that much running.
The course was nice in that most of the wet stuff were towards the end. Although there were plenty of puddles at the beginning which I happyily splashed and kicked at my teammates. I told them I was ‘conditioning,’ them . I suppose kalma got me back later when I was sprayed directly in the face with the water hose, then right in the ear. One of my teammates told me I was his shield during this part and got off lightly.
The inflatable obstacles were fun. You had a choice of two routes, one was more crawling and one was more climbing. I chose the climb. The inflatables were very slippery with the rain and all the other soggy people who had been through it so the ropes were useful for climbing up. It would have been nice if this section was slightly longer though.
The empty keg carrying through the beer tent felt more like a bit of fun than anything else. It wasn’t challenging but the cheer you get from crowd gave you a little surge of energy.
The ‘Interchange,’ obstacle involved climbing through a scaffold system that had you crawling through on your hands and knees. Some parts you could pull yourself on your stomach along the boards. On the declines you could even slide down as we were so wet by then. This obstacle was surprisingly tiring due to the fact there were so many of it.
Photographers were there capturing some of the moments. This included catching you off guard when you climbed out of the old car, like a rabbit in the headlight. You could browse the photos later online. It cost £8 for each high resolution photo. Shame there were no multi buy discount options.
The last obstacle was the ‘Wall of Fame.’ An eight foot wall. It does have a wooden baton on the edge of parts of the wall to help give you some grip. Running up part of the wall is not an option as it’s very slippery. (Probably not the case if you’re first up). It’s possible to scale it on your own (“oh yes!”), but everyone was happy to help each other with a boost or pull if you wanted it. Marshals were once again on hand too.
Despite being completely wet, muddy and exhausted it was a great feeling crossing the line altogether, as a unit, a team. Throughout the event I was checking to see if everyone was enjoying themselves and was relieved as our team organiser that everyone was still beaming at the end. We all had completed something new and what’s more, we all want to do it again.
The last wave of people had already left by the time we had finished. Photographers were supposed to have been at the end of race taking shots of yourself with your finishing time, but had already left. More disappointing however the fish n chip van which I kept thinking about during the race had also packed up. Another burger van was happy to satisfy my hunger, but fish n chips would have been better for that moment of hunger.
After we had changed into something dry we enjoyed a few bevys in the beer tent. We cheered the last runners on carrying the kegs. It was nice winding down, chatting about the highs n lows of the evening as we rummaged through the goody bag of random samples.
Today I officially passed my marshal training for the LFNS. A group which runs weekly organised street skates in London.
Before I stepped up I had some reservations so I thought I'd share with everyone and debunk what a lot of potential marshals are also thinking.
Common sense is the only other thing you really need.
When you put your name forward you don't immediately become a marshal. You'll be shadowing another marshal for a few sessions and there's no urgency in passing within a time frame.
The LFNS needs YOU.
"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