– Dials number from hotel room soaking wet after 1st attempt.
‘Muuuum – HELP. Can you please come wash my hair and shower me!!’.
As a 37 year old grown up, this really wasn’t one of my finer moments.
I also forgot to add.
I was yelping in agonising pain from ripping my hands open.
I’d just run 25km with 100 ninja style obstacles over 2 days in serious heat while representing Scotland at the OCR European Championships in Gdynia, Poland.
From the pain to the experience – it was incredible and something I’ll never forget.
I posted LOADS of pictures/videos (including my hands) over on my Facebook page.
You can check them out here:
Lee’s Facebook Page:
Here’s a sneaky peak how it all started on Day 2.
Got a strong start and was 1st to the net.
(orange shoes on the right and near side).
And yes, that’s my awesome Mum cheering me on : )
From an opening ceremony alike the Olympics and over 3500 competitors.
The atmosphere was ELECTRIFYING!
The competitors were from all over Europe, each earning their place (coming top 3,5 or 10 in previous qualifying events in their country) and ready for ONE mission.
To keep their band and win!!
Just to explain…
At the start you get a band for your wrist.
Day 1 – 5km 40 obstacles (this was actually 7.5km)
Day 2 – 15km 60 obstacles (this was actually 17.5km)
All obstacles are mandatory.
Take as many attempts as you need (within a set time).
Complete all obstacles with your band in tact?
Congratulations you get the chance podium and earn another medal/money (1st, 2nd, 3rd).
Fail even 1 obstacle?
You get your band cut off.
You can then choose to finish the race trying the rest of the obstacles en-route or quit.
The obstacles were actually so hard this year on Day 2 they removed two altogether and amended some others.
Even the ELITE (those who are sponsored and compete all over the world as a job) didn’t all finish with their bands and said what a challenging course it was!!
I believe less than 50% of overall competitors finished with their bands.
And there was little old me, lol.
Had a rough start to the year with almost 3 months off training, highly sleep deprived with a 7 week old, ripped my hands open 2 weeks prior in training, diagnosed with broncho constriction and did my 1st ever pull up in January.
Totally surprised myself with my performance.
Both physically and mentally.
It took a fair amount of ‘balls’ simply to attempt some of the obstacles, lol.
(out of those in my age group who didn’t finish with their band)
Day 1 (7.5km) – I came top 10
Managed 35 / 40 obstacles
Day 2 (17.5km) – I came top 7
Managed over half of the 60 obstacles
Not a single other Brit on the leader board but I put Scotland on there!!
Considering I also injured my foot on a big drop meaning I had to hobble over some obstacles including the finish line on Day 1.
To then run 17.5km and drop from more obstacles the next day.
To say am proud and chuffed to bits is an understatement.
However, on the 2nd day there was only ONE reason I managed to achieve what I did.
Early on, I caught up with a fellow Aberdonian and friend running in a different age group.
We’d both lost our bands, our hands and body were destroyed from our previous day’s efforts but decided to push to the finish line together and give every obstacle a good go!
En-route we managed to bump into more members of ‘Team UK’, who’d also lost their band and we made it our mission to cross that finish line together.
Running up/down steep hills in the heat, taking on crazy ninja obstacles with already ripped hands, facing my fear of heights, having a giggle and wearing a smile through it all.
It just wouldn’t have been the same without us encouraging and supporting one another.
From start to finish it took 3hours 40mins.
Unfortunately, I also had abit of a ‘panic’ and couldn’t breath deep in the hilly forest running.
Thankfully my fellow team mate Becca grabbed my inhaler for me as not sure I could have got it out!!
The pictures up top are quite possibly my favourite pics.
This was us on Day 2 running to that finish line and crossing it as a Team.
Bleeding, injured, battered and bruised but with the biggest smiles and sense of achievement you could possibly imagine.
If any of those strong, badass women are reading this – sincerely, thank you!
I’ve also been absolutely blown away by everyone’s kind words, praise, encouragement and motivation over the last few days.
It really has been amazing to read all the comments and messages and definitely feel loved so a big thank you to you guys too.
Needless to say we celebrated suitably and managed to find even more members of Team UK.
I’m pretty new to the OCR (obstacle course racing) scene but wowzers, what an amazing community or people.
Before I go, here’s a few quick things I’ve learned from Poland I’d like to share.
1. We’re always stronger than we think.
2. We can always achieve more than we think.
3. Team work does infact make the dream work.
3. To conquer fear we must embrace it.
4. The European’s are nuts.
5. Alcohol tastes better once you’ve earned it.
6. Carbs play a highly important part in our diet.
8. Surround yourself with people who push you to be your best.
9. Pain is a matter of the mind.
10. I’m crap at rope work and need to practice as I’ve also qualified for the World OCR Championships in London this October.
Woohoo Round 2 London baby!!
To be continued : )
Lee ‘feeling proud’ Donald x
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