Race Review - Bing Blazer 2015

Review by OCR Scotland 

We arrived at the event just as the first wave elites were finishing. The place was buzzing with excitement. Wanting to get organised early we headed straight to registration. The process was slick and we were soon back outside with our bag of goodies. Definitely the best race pack we've had so far.

We got out just in time to see the shutters of the warehouse rising, and runners from wave 3 rushing out. A very unique and impressive way to start a race!

A quick shoe change and rummage through the race pack and I was ready to go, deciding not to wear the gloves we were given. Nerves were starting to build.

It was soon our turn (wave 4) to enter the starters warehouse (not often I can say that), where a friendly Leeann gave us a brilliant warm up, and got everyone raring to go.

As the shutters slowly lifted the countdown began, 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . and we were off. No sooner than we got round the corner, we hit our first hill (though just a little one). Down the other side there was a short run to a large hay bale obstacle, then onwards to a short tyre carry. This then led to a concrete hurdle before we entered the tunnels, where being tall definitely wasn’t an advantage! Back out into the sunlight we faced a set of hurdles before a steep hill climb - this definitely got the legs working.

At the top we had a clear view ahead and what I thought was going to be a nice run across the summit, soon turned out to be a rope descent down the even steeper embankment at the other side, before climbing straight back up again on a parallel rope. A few metres ahead we got to do it all over again. At this point I really wish I had used the gloves, as I could feel my hands burning as I descended each rope.

The descent was much easier and great fun – a quick water slide into the pool of cold water below – with a perfectly placed photographer to capture all the action. The water also gave the ideal opportunity to cool down given the warm weather.

Out of the pool and soaking wet, it was only a short distance to the next obstacles – a series of three ditches, each requiring a scramble up a dirt mound to get out of. Next, a short section of monkey bars, a near impossible task with wet muddy hands. I struggled for grip and came off just over half way across - again wishing I had worn the gloves. Up next was an 8 foot wall. With a good jump I pulled myself over to the other side and a short run out of the yard.

This first section was very obstacle intense and had a brilliant mix of obstacles to challenge all ability levels.

The next section was a long run along the cycle path, broken up with a cargo net crawl part way along. This was a great chance to pick up some pace and led to a very welcomed water station (with fudge!), before we entered Cappers Farm.

A quick climb over a lorry trailer, led to what is probably Scotland’s biggest obstacle structure. An 8 foot wall, followed by a climb up scaffolding pipes, before a smaller wall to reach the summit. Overall the structure stood an impressive 24metres high. To descend we had a small jump, followed by a ladder, and a pole slide back to the ground.

Next was probably the longest monkey bars section that I’ve encountered in Scotland. I started well, finding much better grip with dry, clean-ish hands. Obstacles galore! We encountered more hurdles; a tyre run through very cold water sprinklers; and yet another 8ft wall! A jump back over the lorry trailer brought us to ‘Paintball Alley.’ My attempts to avoid the shot were in vain as the ‘sniper’ got me on the leg.

Soon we were back on the cycle track and the run towards the finish. The warm weather made this challenging, but the atmosphere was brilliant with lots of motivational shouts between the runners in both directions.

Approaching the finish, the course had a final surprise, a sharp turn in the opposite direction led to a pond crossing. Completely misjudging the depth I managed to turn what should have been a chest deep wade into a full face plant into the water, much to the delight of the spectators!

Soaking wet again, we began the short run to the finish line, getting pelted with some very colourful paint powder on the way.

Like the start, the finish line was very unique, running under the arm of a digger. Race done and the finisher’s medal received – a very smart looking and useful medal that doubled as a bottle opener. 

The only small criticism is that an extra water stop would have been appreciated. That said, who would have predicted that the weather would have turned out to be so nice.

Overall it was an awesome day at Bing Blazer. A big well done to all the organisers, volunteers and other runners who helped make the event such a great success. Can't believe this is only Bing Blazers second year as an event organiser. The growth they have made in just one year is epic and they are definitely one to watch for the future.

We will be back next year, and hopefully lots of you will join us!