On the morning of Sunday 24th June G+E’s fourteen fittest, finest and fiercest competitors congregated in a field in the outskirts of Leeds, wondering quite what they had let themselves in for. As the distinctive yellow headbands were tightened, numbers drawn on arms and shoe laces re-tied, eyes were drawn to the 10ft high stacks of ice waiting to be dropped into ‘the plunge’.
Wishful thinkers decided perhaps this obstacle would be a blessing in the 25+ degree heat (we’ll let the pictures do the talking on that one).
As chief cameraman, George Humphreys had fashioned a camera stand to his cap, a brilliant idea that allowed us to capture some great footage of the event, including video of the team wading through the first water obstacle, sinking in waist high mud, and taking a flying leap through a wall of fire. Sadly however, that is where the footage ends, as the downside to George’s brilliant invention is a tendency for it to fall off when the wearers head is fully submerged in water.. RIP GoPro.
We pressed on however, quickly finding ourselves at the ‘High Jump’, a leap into the air, landing in a pond. Clearly the thrill of the jump had been too much for Tariq, who upon landing in the pond immediately forgot how to swim, resulting in the team nervously wondering if this was going to mark the end of Tariq’s race, while the lifeguard firmly reminded him that if he put his feet on the floor, he could simply walk out of the water!
Next up were a combination of walls to be scaled, rivers to be crossed and logs to be lugged, with all obstacles supremely mastered by all. Fully accepting the Total Warrior motto that this course is a challenge not a race, the team had decided to stay as one throughout the event, helping each other through, under and over whatever stood in our way.
It was at this point however that some ‘team players’ spotted their moment of glory, with a splinter group speeding off into the distance.
The groups pressed on through yet more mud and water, crawling through a stream under barbed wire and digging feet and legs out of the ‘Cement mixer’. With limbs aching and concern weighing heavy about what the last few obstacles may hold, some respite was found in the ‘Slideaway’, a steeper and quicker throwback to the childhood slip’n’side.
All that now prevented the Warriors from tasting their refreshing finishers beer was a quick swing along the monkey bars, a dash through a maze of electric wires and one last wall to hurdle, easy. The punishment for failing to master the monkey bars was another dunk in the water. The extent of the cruelty of this was only truly realised when running through 100’s of electrified wires and the very quick realisation about water’s relationship with electricity!
Shocked and shaken, the warriors summed up their last ounces of energy and dragged themselves over a 15ft high wall. All that remained was to find a smile for the finishers picture and stumble across the line. Total Warrior completed.
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