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...
What a scorcher at today's South Coast Roll open track day in Chichester! Given the intensity of the heat I opted to cover my marathon distance this time with two/three lap intervals. (11.5 laps for a marathon). This had a plus of making it a much more sociable outing on pit breaks this year at the Goodwood race track.
On the video below, at 1:05 if you blink you'll miss me!
The overall setup for Urban Ninja remains the same since our first visit in 2015. Although the crash mats and air bags had a welcome improvement!
Last time the giant cotton wheel wasn't up and running so I was excited to give this a shot. In this video it whipped me off right at the end, but it was after the blue crash pads so I guess thats a successful attempt?!
We all managed to complete an obstacle we failed previously so definitely feel accomplished today! For me it was jumping off a trampette and pushing your arms and legs out to suspend yourself between a set of parallel walls, before shimmying along the corridor. AKA the spider walk!
The final timed event uses the same course as before so you can compare yourself to previous years which it is impossible to do so on other OCR events. Another thing is that you have to complete all obstacles within the three minutes in order to win the medal, which again is not done at other events.
We like what Urban Ninja are doing. Although it would be great to see some new obstacles too!
Bad things happened last night in London town, but we will not be deterred from venturing out. Awesome skate today. Forever forward.
Make the Future Live was a free event hosted by Shell which was a celebration of pioneering eco friendly innovations over the second Bank Holiday in May. The Queen Elisabeth Olympic Park was once again our venue. We choose to attend the Friday Lates session as it was adults only. (Anything to avoid the crowds). Another plus for the Lates was the live podcast debate that evening hosted by a Jason Bradbury and Richard Ayoade. Three entrepreneurs pitched there ideas which included flat easy mount panels for harvest kinetic energy (such as from wind in train tunnels), using byproducts of coffee production to create log fuel and utilising a tighter eco business flow model.
When we entered the event we were all given passes with QR codes. So you can vote with it for your favourite innovation ideas. Also on certain activities they linked the recorded video or photo with your pass so you can later download it.
The main event had plenty of interactive exhibits, not dissimilar to the Science Museum. One of the highlights was running inside a giant zorb ball for 30 seconds in order to generate as much energy as possible. Three zorbs were available for you to duke it out with your friends!
So below is a their video of me running in the hamster ball. With the tumbles it felt more like being in a tumble dryer! It's a fun automated edit, but would have liked to have seen an unedited video of my run.
They also had an eco car marathon event going on. It just seemed a waste when they retired for the day and that super smoothy looking surface had no skaters tending to it!
This was a great event full of fun, inspirational and uplifting science. In their follow up email they said 'see you next year!'
We certainly will!
LSST and co today hosted their inaugural 6 Hour Endurance (no official website, event was organised via Facebook) race at the Cyclopark in Gravesend. It was only a twenty minute train ride from Kings Cross St Pancras station to Ebbsfleet International station (Future home of the Paramount theme park), then a ten minute taxi ride to the cycle track.
Sharp energy draining inclines are prominent memories of my previous experience of the track. So when on the day we told we were only using the lower part of the track there was a definite sigh of relief from everyone. The race as it's title suggests is a six hour endurance skate race. You can compete in teams of five, two or you can brave it solo.
Our relaxed ESS team of five muscled out when on course but we were there for the fun and the experience so when we messed up a baton exchange or when someone wasn't ready to take over there really was no stress. (Unlike some of the more competitive teams!).
A really enjoyable day out with everyone. The sun certainly helped keep spirits high. I hope this mini Le Mans event will become an annual outing!
Updated the site design and going back to the clean look. It should be more mobile friendly than before too.
We had our first visit to Ultimate Ninja, a Ninja Warrior style training centre which has obstacles inspired from the TV show which originates from Japan (Sasuke).
The centre itself is very close to Hythe train station but as its a smaller stop the trains are less frequent. We decided to instead get an earlier train to Colchester Station (a bigger station with more frequent stops) which allowed a bit of buffer time. If there were train delays we had an option of a taxi from Colchester, but trains were good today so we opted for a forty minute walk instead.
The centre itself was good fun and it had a lot of obstacles to keep us occupied for the hour for a reasonable price of £10. (Best to book in advance). Having had a go at everything I have new found respect for successful contestants of the show who are doing these obstacles back to back.
As the title suggests we will be back again as we really like what they are doing. It will be interesting to see if they update some of the obstacles occasionally to keep things fresh. The journey time and train fare (£20 return approx) from London however stops this from being a regular venue for us. We envy the locals!
It took a couple of attempts but was very happy to have 'beat the wall!'
With never being content to just stay where I'm at I somehow came to the idea of trying out a move that combined rolling from inline skating to an ab roller style work out using one freeline skate. This took a few attempts. Unfortunately I came off shot on my first successful attempt, but unknowingly I had an audience in the background who vouched my accomplishment with an applause! I included another successful roll on the video clip, it's difficult to tell with my baggy trousers but my knees were off the floor the whole time.
For next time, could have straighter legs and would be good to be rolling the whole time!
I like to think I'm the first person to have done this, just so I can name this move the 'Transformer!'
Today I rediscovered the fun of bouldering at the Arch Climbing Wall's Building One and Biscuit Factory centres. Both locations are a few minutes walk apart with my preference being Building One just because of the peg wall which I got to try out for the first time. Tough Mudder used to have an obstacle dubbed 'The Liberator,' which was much easier because the wall inclined meaning you can rest your body against it. No such cheats on the peg board giving you a proper upper body challenge. My new favourite obstacle!
Would also love to able to do the under hang boulder routes one day. My finger strength and techniques aren't ready just yet..
"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