There is a tough decision to be made for many of us
There are many races out there that we can call tough
Some are physically tough take nuts 4 laps or bog commander 4 laps and some are mentally tough like the fear of losing your band at some so called championship race
But there is only one in my eyes that delivers Both
Last year this race was a bit of a shambles for a lot of the community
We where led to believe it was the last ever race - but its not
The usual start holding pens where ignored and it was a true mass start
The total number of participants caused huge bottle necks.
The new ditches took so much time to get through that by the time we got to the water sections it was closed
Then there was the Medal - enough said
And finally leaving the car park in your car was an obstacle in itself
Yes you are right I am talking about Tough Guy or should we now call it Mouse events
Some of the UKOCR community will never return to the farm in Perton, they feel cheated.
Cheated that although it is technically the last ever winter tough guy “its Not”
Cheated that they got a piece of coloured metal instead of the awesome piece of brass that was given out at the previous 29 events.
Cheated that they didn’t get to run the whole course.
Cheated that ….. the list could go on
However some of us are in the sport for the thrill,
So far I have had one DNF at tough guy where I had hypothermia 1km from the end, I have had 2 broken fingers and a broken rib, I have felt the burn of those slaloms, the shock of the lollipops and the fear of electricity while wet through
But I have also felt the exhilaration that only Tough Guy brings.
The endorphins and adrenaline that run through your body for the full 16km.
The fear as you traverse the ropes knowing that one slip could see you fall and if you fall those rotten nets are not going to stop this 16 stone dead weight from splitting them and falling to the ground
The fear as you hit the killing fields and knowing that from here to the end its not just physical ability but its 90% mental ability.
Tough Guy delivered both the physical and mental challenges we crave but it also delivered the true danger factor,
Yes it is dangerous,
Yes you can and will probably get hurt,
The obstacles are not shiny and just been shipped in, they are not made from turned and machine saw wood, they are not held together with nice steel hex head screws, they are not 6ft tall, the electric is not for show
The obstacle are old, some 29 years old and all that time they have been open to the elements
They are made from tree trunks, old telegraph poles and railway sleepers that have splinters and knobbly
They are held together with Rope, the occasional nail and rotten netting
They are 30ft tall and the electric is for real
This is probably the only race that the waiver is true, it is potentially a Death Warrant
Will mr mouse events get it right in February 2018?, who knows?
My experience of 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 are all positive, good organisation even if the facilities are rough around the edges, an amazing course (which is the main criteria for me) and a great sense of accomplishment when I cross that finish line (or not as the case was in 2014)
Will the medal change back to brass or will it be garish again, who cares its not about the medal for me
Will there be issues at the start line or will the course be closed at some points again - I personally don’t see the same numbers going again so I don’t think it will
Will the parking be a mud pit, yes it always is, so get there early and get a prime spot
Will the course be dangerous - you bet it will
Will the course be mentally tough - the killing fields will be
Will the course be physically tough - You can put your shirt on it
Will you be there - thats your decision and I can only assume its a tougher decision for some of the community than others, Some like me will be there even if they called it Disney winter wonderland, others feel that cheated that they will never return, and others are still having the mental battle
I will leave you with one last thought if your favourite group made a bad record would you buy there next record, or if they did a final tour and split up, then reformed would you go to their next concert
I hope I will see some of you there, but if not thats cool, I’m sure we will probably catch each other at Nuts