Major Series Race Review 2016

Pictures available at: https://www.britmilfit.com/major-series/gallery/

Race Video: Coming Soon

Race Overview

The Royal British Legion Major Series is back and this year was completely different from last. The new and improved challenge navigated its way through a variety of military themed zones, each with different challenges. The event offers a 5km or 10km option and provides a great challenge for all fitness levels.

Registration & Event Village

The venue was easy to find with road markings set out very early on approach roads. The car park was well managed and parking was free. As registration packs were sent out in advance, there were no queues and nothing required on the day, other than show up and get ready.

The event village had plenty going on. Free ‘MOMA’ porridge stall, a burger van, ‘Black’s’ merchandise stall, the all-important bar, as well as the normal registration tent for last minute sign ups and lost numbers, a key drop, and male and female changing tents.

‘The Major’ was also on hand to motivate the troops, and to dish out punishment press-ups when he felt the need.

Warm Up and Start

As the start approached we were called to warm up. The warm up got us ready to go, although it did seem somewhat tamer than the previous year’s version. . . although there was a good reason for this. The Major then called us to line up, then leading the short march to the start. Moments later we were off and heading out of the event village.

The Course

We weren’t running long before we hit the first challenge, ‘The BMF Zone,’ 15 Press-ups, 15 Squats, then 15 Burpees - maybe why they let us off a little easier on the warmup.

Next up was a long trail run to the ‘Air Zone.’ This section of the course had a mix of lengthy trail sections, energy zapping muddy wades, burn jumps, natural tree obstacles, hill climbs, slack line traverse, balance beams as well as one of the events newest obstacles, ‘MOMA’s Porridge Pot,’ a wall climb followed by cargo net crossing before descending the other side. This zone also had a water wade up river, with very slippery rocky footing – I soon found out just how slippy when I didn’t treat it with the caution it deserved! SPLASH! A short run and cargo net climb later and Zone Complete.

The course then continued into another lengthy trail run before heading back into the river. This time wading up the centre we had to dive under a series of 3 booms.  Drenched from head to toe, we got back to running. This time the trail was broken up by a long cargo net crawl, spider web path and the ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ being blasted out from the trees! A great motivational boost.

Further ahead the course entered into a burn, gun fire and explosions could be heard up ahead. It was time for the ‘Land Zone.’ Obviously the sounds were special effects, but they really set the tone for what lay ahead. First the grenade throw – grab a grenade, crawl under the camouflage net and try to hit the target. MISS – punishment burpees were dished out. Up ahead were Water wades with tree obstacles, forcing the pace to drop to avoid another slip. A mud hill climb out followed by a sneaky sniper with a water pistol got us back out to easier running, for a little while anyway. Soon we hit a long boggy yomp finishing in ‘Copper’s Crawl’ – barb wire crawl through the wet. Thankfully a very welcomed water stop lay not too far ahead, giving a brief break before the zones final challenge, the ‘Burning Building,’ where you had to climb through a window or squeeze through a blocked off doorway to get through.

Next things got very muddy. Muddy burn runs first, before a run to the ‘Stench Trench,’ knee deep very boggy water stretch leading to ‘Jones’s Vanishing Bridge’ – a water float balance bridge over the bog. Another long run led us to a series of over / under barriers, before a log carry.

The Finish

Next was the ‘Extraction Point,’ and probably my favourite part of the course. Running was a bit easier as it started with a downhill run to a large log climb, then leading to the quick and fun ‘Sander’s Water Slide.’ Knowing the end was approaching I dug deep and managed to raise my pace, back up the hill we were met with a blackout crawl, before a nice downhill run to the event village, up a large A frame wall and across the finish line.

Summary

For me, this year’s Major Series was a massive improvement from last year’s. The course was utilised much better and there was a massive improvement on both the quantity and quality of obstacles. The use of sound effects and music throughout the course really added to the experience and helped motivate.

The finisher’s medal and T-shirt were great, although I do miss the dog tags!