About 900 people entered the Loaded Tough Guy and Gal Challenge (TGG) Palmerston North on June 6th 2015 held on the Linton Military Camp. Because of this location, the course made use of the camp’s military-grade assault course.
For an obstacle course race to be able to include an actual military assault course, rather than boasting that their homemade obstacles are actually “designed by ex military members” as many races do, is an amazing opportunity and a draw-card for those looking for a really tough race. However the TGG course did not live up to the potential this opportunity held. It’s a shame that the majority of the military assault course was fenced off and not included in the TGG course. Only about one-third was usable. Any obstacles that involved height or upper-body (which was about two-thirds of them) were removed and we instead had to run right past. To be fair, putting “civilians” on high obstacles would have been a big safety hazard and the TGG is for mass participation where “all obstacles are designed for all to be achieved” and upper-body obstacles probably don’t fall within that category. But it was disappointing to run an obstacle race on a military camp and not get to use the full range of military obstacles.
Nether-the-less, the TGG Palmerston North was great fun!
So here’s my follow-post of the race – covering mostly my experience but also some photos and videos for you to check out below.
The TGG series supports Cure Kids as their official charity. Cure Kids works to find cures for serious illnesses that affect many of our children. As part of their support, I ran as a “golden runner” who was given free entry for raising funds for Cure Kids.
You can visit my campaign page here.
Or read the progress reports posted on this blog (click the images for links):
Donations remain open at the campaign page. As Cure Kids can still use your support. Thank you in advance for any contribution you can make.
So I want to say a big thank you to Cure Kids and Event Promotions (the company behind the TGG) for putting out this opportunity to run the race in this way.
Thanks Cure Kids for the goodie bag before race day.
My goal for this race was to finish in the top 3. This was a long-stretch, but I was aiming for it. And I put in my training.
I made may way to near the front of the starting line, and took off. For about half of the first 6km lap I kept up with the leading pack, trailing slightly behind and during a long straight counted only five people ahead of me. Unless there were others already far ahead around the next corner (which I have a feeling there might have actually been), I was doing pretty good. But then we hit a steep bank climb which leveled out at the top into a road section before entering a long stretch cross-crossing across a river, and my lungs were burning. I had to slow down. A few people took the opportunity and passed me. I couldn’t maintain a fast pace, and completed the rest of the first lap actively catching my breath. Coming in to the second lap a few more people passed, but I reevaluated and decided I had recovered enough to speed up again. The second lap I ran at a moderate pace, but still slightly slower than the initial pace opening out of the starting line.
At the end, some of the leaders must have dropped out or in the chaos of the mud I must have passed some people who passed me earlier, as I finished 9th in my division.
Overall, I’m pleased with my performance in terms of pushing myself to near my limit. I don’t think there were many instances on the course in which I have regrets about wishing I pushed harder. It’s good to “leave it all on the field”. I’m also pleased with my speed through the obstacles – as this is where I can use my background of parkour in order to maintain a running speed despite transitioning into and out of crawling or wall climbing or so on. Coming through the obstacle-dense assault course I managed to pass a couple of people ahead of me, but then was overtaken again as we came back to flat ground.
While I didn’t meet my goal of coming in top 3, I did manage to come in the top 10. The race taught me a lot about racing experience – as I’m only getting into racing over the past year and half or so. I don’t have a running background, and this is the area I need to most improve on.
- My cardio endurance is not where it needs to be.
- I have three months until my next race to improve my cardio. Having a background in parkour and not in running (well, parkour involves running… but it’s usually sprinting as opposed to any form of distance running), my ability to just cover flat ground is what I’m going to improve on. I ran close to my limit, but the next step is to push where that limit is.
I snapped photos during prize giving. Presented here are the winners. I apologise to the people who aren’t pictured – the winners came up one-by-one to the stage and sometimes didn’t stick around so there sometimes wasn’t a moment to catch everyone in one photo.
The race grades and divisions included the Smiths Sports Shoes Mizuno 12km including Open Men, Open Women, Older Brutes, Older Beauties; and the Radio Hauraki 6km including Open Men, Open Women, Older Brutes, Older Beauties, and a Corporate Challenge.
Podium winners from the 12kms received a complimentary entry to the New Zealand Tough Guy and Gal Championship which will be held in Rotorua on August 22nd.
Full results are available online.
12km Open (under 40)
12km Older Brutes & Beauties (over 40)
6km Open (under 40)
6km Older Brutes & Beauties (over 40)
As well as the elite runners, there are of course tons of people who get stuck in and prove to themselves they can complete the challenge of a mud run. This video shows some of the fun:
As well as thanking Cure Kids already, I’d also like to thanks Star Holistic Fitness Studio. Star is sponsoring me to enter further races this year.
Thanks to Star
And thank you to Obstacle Racers New Zealand – all things obstacle course racing, mud running, and adventure sports in New Zealand!
Standing for awesomeness in NZ.
Check them out for more on upcoming races around the country.