Tartan Warrior 5k Race Review - GYL

Photo by Alan Watson

Thanks to Gnome Your Limits for providing the below race review. Further details on the friendliest group in OCR can be found at www.facebook.com/gnomeyourlimits

Today we took part in Tartan Warrior 5km OCR .

We came into this race not knowing what to expect. We'd been to the Tartan Warrior's training days, which gave us some idea- which obstacles they could easily move and set up, and some big names likely to show up, like Connor McGourt. Despite the challenges, we went in planning to do what us gnomes do: give any bigger name runners a run for their money, no matter what's put down in front of us.

Before I start battering into the review, I want to say well done to Tartan Warriors for their planning and prep work. The guys knew what they had and how best to utilise it, and it made for a great course.

There was one less challenge than usual, though- straight off the bat, Tartan Warriors won the Scottish Weather Lottery, and the good weather made for a great turnout.

Before we even started, we could tell what a fast-paced run we were in for. Each wave had been scheduled one hour apart, bar the newly added sixth wave, and had one hundred runners or less, to avoid congestion at obstacles. Wave 1, the 'Elite' Wave, also had timing chips and prizes, giving the serious runners something to go for, and the other waves also had the option to add on chips, if they too wanted to be timed. This meant every kind of OCR runner was catered to. Want to push yourself or go for the gold? Go for Wave One. Improving your times but not into the competitive running? Get an optional timing chip. First OCR or a run with the kids? Hit Waves Two to Six, and don't worry about times or outrunning others.

Obstacles were spread out evenly across the course, keeping the fast-paced 5k going but still keeping you on your toes. One of the biggest surprises for us was the rope climb. Due to the logistics, we had been sure this would be the one obstacle that Tartan Warrior definitely wouldn't be bringing down from their training days. As I say in all my reviews, it's important to use the land you're given well- and this was a great example of that. Halfway round the course was a rope climb- no metal frames, no complicated constructions. Just a very large tree and three very large ropes tied to its branches. Job done.

The other obstacles were all good- the OCR classic log carry, what must have been about an 8ft wall, hurdles, monkey bars, A-Frame and bog runs. The pace was fast, the obstacles well timed, and it all added up to a race that flowed very well.

This wouldn't be a Gnome review without listing the things we'd like to see next time, to make the race bigger and better!

A few more logs at the log carry would have guaranteed that no one was waiting for a log, a minor issue, but one that could really keep the pace up. This was already better than some other big name events, but it could be perfected.

On the same line, two monkey bars instead of one would have made all the difference- it was the only obstacle I encountered a wait at, though to be fair, it was still a very short one.

The last is really more of an entry for the Gnome wish list- an endurance entry, taking part in all six waves, the winner being the one with the lowest accumulated time. An incentive for organisers: this would also cut down on our function after a race, which could lead to less lengthy and critical reviews!

Overall a fantastic event from Tartan Warriors! Once again we're shown that you don't have to pay hundreds to get a good OCR run, so get out and support your local OCR events! You'll be surprised at the quality of race you can get!

Also, on an itty bitty side note, Congratulations to Jonathon McDonald! Our speedy Gnome came second in today’s event, only beaten by Scotland’s OCR Champ Connor McGourt!