While many OCR enthusiasts ventured South of London for one of the toughest OCR’s in the UK, I ventured North to a quaint little town called Hexham for one of the very few events in the north of England
Mad March Mare it called and its apply named - takes place in March, Its at a horse racing track ( hence the Mare and you would be mad not to go if your up that way
Mad march mare is the brainchild of challenge Northumberland, an events company that puts on several events through out the year for runners, This is their only adult OCR event at present but they do a children’s OCR also called Clarty Bairns that takes place over a few weeks from the end of July to early August Check them out here
Back to the Mad March Mare though, as soon as you get here you realise this event is different to many OCR’s - no tent in a field, no muddy car park, No portaloos, instead it uses the stunning Hexam racecourse and all its facilities to boot, the car park is gravel in most areas, the registration area is in a Bar, the briefing is in another Bar , The toilets are clean and usable - this is like the royalty of the OCR world.
Registration is fast and simple with some well versed staff to help, the safety briefing was also well versed and short enough that you took on board all that was said.
Outside for a warm held by a lovely lady on a sound system that was blasting out tunes from Metro radio that was in attendance. A little countdown and away we went under the starters arch with smoke grandes a blowing around us
The course its self was very much a runners course with plenty of running between the 15 or so man made obstacles however the course designers themselves had conjured up a few natural hazards. The course undulated too with us dropping down into a deep valley several times during the run.
Obstacle course wise consisted of several muddy section and a few natural water features including a climb up a steep gorge which if it had been raining would have been amazing with the water running down it, unfortunately for us the rain had stayed away so it was a tiny trickle
There was a nice land slide with a muddy run off, several walls of varying heights, a few tunnel / tube crawls, sand bag carry, tyre wall, a huge scaffolding / cargo net A frame and a few other too before the final smooth wooden A frame at the finish line at 10.24km almost spot onto the advertised distance of 10k
Going through transition we where offered a metal blanket, bottle of water a nice t shirt and medal and a warm drink with chocolate biscuits, also a hose down by a few teenagers on pressure washers
Then it was off to the bar where we had a nice pint at a reasonable price and a bite to eat all in the comfort of proper chairs and a table, whilst looking out over the race course and watching other runners finish their race
All in all this was a gem of an event and all though not obstacle heavy it was a really good run with great terrain, good obstacles, no queues and an amazing venue. - #gemonthetyne
Check out their next event at www.madmarchmare.co.uk