I had never before competed in an event as big as the European Championships, to say I was nervous was an understatement. We arrived the day before the event was due to commence to go and have a look around the course. Usually I would say my upper body strength, grip and speed all go for me and I don’t come across many problems on course. This however was different, it looked like a course for ninjas and most of the obstacles laughed at me. Despite knowing well ahead that I was not going to do extraordinarily well, I promised myself I would try every obstacle and push myself all the way.
Friday was the 4km short course, I will say it was fun and a learning experience not just for myself but most racers, the course was brutal. This was nothing short of a 4km Ultimate Ninja type race, not an OCR. I am not sure of the official figures, however the current World Champion pulled out on course and there was a 1% band retention from the 2000 racers….
It was good to see the governing body listened to the athletes and decided to make some much needed changes to the main event on Saturday.
Saturday came far too quickly, however the spirits were high despite the brutal event from the day before. An inspirational moment for me before starting on my wave was seeing Jon Albon, current World Champion, once again finishing in top spot, however seeing him give his 1st place to the 2nd place runner because he felt who comes across the line 1st should be the winner was true sportsmanship!
The main event was a 15km race, fantastic obstacles which all posed a challenge and a brilliant beach section which, despite the weather being so hot, was nice to have a breeze along that stretch. Unfortunately for me I had done some damage to my arm on the Friday and spent most of the main event in agonising pain, after seeing the medical team it appears I overstretched my elbow or possibly slightly dislocated it, I am now waiting for an MRI scan to find out.
Sunday was the team relay event, 3 team members each had to run a 2km section before running the final 2km together. I knew I should not have done this race, however to come so far and trained for this event, it felt silly not to at least attempt. We had to find a new recruit for Team Broken as one of our members chipped a bone in her foot the day before, so we recruited a member of Team Denmark who was an absolutely wonderful guy! We called ourselves Team Broken by the end, we had a laughable injury list, no skin on hands, my elbow injury and a ripped bicep from our other team member.
All in all this event was absolutely brilliant, it broke the majority of racers but the camaraderie and sportsmanship from every nation was exemplary and everybody should feel proud to of been part of this event.
About the author: Scott Gray is a personal trainer and Sundried ambassador.