Since completing the Margam Park iNVNCBL Obstacle Race in May 2015 we had been waiting anxiously for the next race to be announced. It didn’t take long for the Parc Penallta race to be announced. Even better
we would be taking the warm-ups on the day. After the enjoyment we had in doing so at the Dirty Dozen Obstacle Race in Usk earlier this year this was an opportunity we could not resist.
Luckily we remembered the go pro this time so we’ve got some great footage for you followed by a full review of the day
Check out our race vid below, it’s full of photo’s of team obstafit, see if you can spot yourselves:
The plan was to setup our Gazebo and Hang Challenge rig the day before so that we could turn up the next day stress free. Without going into too much detail we had a bit of a disaster the day before. Our hired van
broke down within minutes of me driving it down the road. The hire assistant turned up asking me questions assuming I had done something wrong – ok I can be a bit clumsy at times but I swear the damn thing just conked out on me.
So we had no choice but to rush like mad and cram everything into our cars. I prayed that my suspension would hold up, luckily it did!
Our new warm up tune ‘Not Giving In’ by ‘Rudimental’ seemed apt for the occasion and seemed to go down well with the racers
Me and Mikey did the warm up for each wave which went pretty well despite the few hiccups (Mikey leaving the mic on during general conversation, Gareth leaving the mic on during general conversation,
Gareth tripping over the mic cable..). Our new warm up tune ‘Not Giving In’ by ‘Rudimental’ seemed apt for the occasion and seemed to go down well with the racers. The first obstafit wave set off around 10 am, a sea of green filtered over the start line which
was just awesome!
Niall was the MC for the day, together with Hannah and a few others from Nation Radio they did a great
job of keeping us entertained
I jumped in at the last minute to race in the last wave. It felt odd being on the other side of the stage having been up on the stage all day doing the warm-ups. Mikey did a good job of the warm-up with his new sidekick Niall from Nation Radio!
Then we were off after a group countdown from 10. Within minutes I was leading the wave, which felt a little odd. It was eerily quiet with no other runners around me, not something i’m used to at a race! Though I wasn’t complaining, it was nice to have a clear run
at some of the obstacles.
The first obstacle was the log carry, pick up a log from the pile and run up a hill and back down if I remember rightly. Not too bad, nice warm-up for the sandbag carry later 🙂 There was a fair bit of running in this race, which I appreciated being someone that is enjoying
running at the moment. The scenery at Parc Penallta was also second to none. I recall running a few times up and down a steepish hill not too long before meeting the new obstacle for this race, a giant inflatable slide.
Unfortunately the water pumps at the top of the slide werent functioning correctly so I had to keep propelling myself down the slide, not to say it wasn’t good fun though and everyone I spoke to after the race enjoyed this obstacle. Not so much the absolute freezing plunge into water at the bottom of the slide,
thanks for that guys 🙂
The scenery at Parc Penallta was also second to none
There were a few crawl under obstacles including the obligatory Barbed Wire Mud Crawl which everyone seems to love, followed by the Sandbag Carry. On seeing the pile of sandbags, suddenly I was hit by flashbacks of the Spartan Super earlier this year which featured a lung busting 2 mile sandbag carry. Invncbl weren’t going to make this easy,
each sandbag weighed 20-30kg’s if I’m not mistaken and we had to carry them around for about 2km’s. The distance for this was about right – it dragged on a bit at Spartan Race Super earlier this year in Usk. Although it’s a pace killer carrying a sandbag
along I quite enjoy pushing myself to run the whole distance despite the extra weight constantly loaded on the shoulders/neck. It’s a good feeling overtaking walkers on the sandbag carry!
Walls & Ramps
There were a series of walls throughout the race from tiny (about 3ft) to big (10ft roughly). Also overhanging walls which personally are a favourite of mine having learnt how to master them with Doug Spence!
On some of the bigger walls were a series of wooden climbing holds to assist people on their way up. This race is all about appealing to people of all fitness levels so little touches like this do help those who struggle to get up bigger walls unassisted. I remember thinking it’d be good in future to split the wall so that there are sections of the wall
without holds for those who want a challenge. Towards the end of the race there were also some big scaffold climbs, probably about 25-30 foot plus some giant hay bales to jump over.
it’d be good in future to split the wall so that there are sections of the wall without holds for those who want a challenge
There were a few shallow ponds, nothing too demanding until reaching the lake. We had to cross a pretty big lake either by swimming across or holding onto the rope (again a nice touch for those who need the assistance). At certain points the water was up to about neck height. Trust me on this one, it was cold, very cold. Memories from Tough Guy in 2008 came back that day and that’s saying something.
As the water got deeper it really took your breath away and quite frankly, couldn’t wait to get out of there.
Trust me on this one, it was cold, very cold!
It was a good feeling to get onto dry land at the other side. I’m a lot smaller these days, probably carrying a bit less body fat than before increasing my running training so I definitely feel the cold more lately. Either that or I’m just getting old 😀
As I was getting out of the lake one of the marshals made a clever dick comment about me being miles away from my group. I let him know I was running in the last wave, the rest of the obstafitters had started about 3 waves earlier, he soon piped down.
Talking about marshals, most did a great job at keeping everyone motivated though there were the odd few that had no idea. One marshal in particular I asked the direction to take to the next obstacle, he just looked at me dumbfounded so I had to ask one of the spectators on the side!
All that monkey bar training and dead hang training in bootcamp definitely paid off for team Obstafit!
Me and Mikey had had a preview of the monkey bars the day before. They were a lot longer this time compared to the Margam Park race. I remember thinking they were do-able but a challenge I was looking forward to. The bars were thick, scaffold thickness basically
which usually makes it a lot tougher.
If I were to guess I’d say they were probably 20 metres in length, a fair distance! I spent a few seconds trying to decide which technique may be best, decided to try the monkey swing but quickly changed my mind when my hands started slipping. Bent arms with
leg cycling was the way forward for sure. Managed to get to the end quite comfortably, and I’m massively proud to say so did most of our Obstafitters. You guys can be really proud of yourselves. All that monkey bar training and dead hang training in bootcamp definitely paid off for team Obstafit!
End of the race
The end featured a lovely thick mud crawl to make sure we were all plastered in mud at the end literally from head to toe just how we like it. Also an obligatory big wall to climb over before a sprint finish to the end! It was a nice touch as always having someone put the medal around your neck as you finish.
I’ve been to a few races where you have to pick up your own medal from a table somewhere at the end which lacks that personal touch to be honest. It was also great having Niall congratulate everyone at the end of the race, again something a lot of other races forget!
I went to queue for the water hoses to attempt to get rid of some of the mud before wandering back over to our gazebo to see lots of proud obstafitters wearing their medals, what a great sight that was. Well done guys.
The hang challenge was a big success at Dirty Dozen Race in Usk so we decided to do it again. The first person to try it was Niall Foster from Nation Radio. Niall was the MC for the day, together with Hannah and a few others from Nation Radio they did a great
job of keeping us entertained. Here is proof that Niall was top of the leader board for approx 1 hour :):
The mens record was almost beaten by Andy Pearce literally at the last minute, Lisa Partridge smashed the record set by Olivia Kuit at the Dirty Dozen Race
Like the Dirty Dozen Race we saw some impressive times put in on the hang challenge. The mens record was almost beaten by Andy Pearce literally at the last minute, Lisa Partridge smashed the record set by Olivia Kuyt at the Dirty Dozen Race
and the kids were also competitive as always. Here are the full results:
Men 1st – Andrew Pearce 4.28
Women 1st – Lisa Partridge 2.49
Kids joint 1st – Ryan/Ethan 2.35
All winners won an Obstafit Hoody plus an 8 session bootcamp pass to all that beat 2 minutes. Not bad for only £1 entry 🙂
All in all this was a fantastic race, a definite step up from iNVNCBL since the Margam Park race
Summary + Future Races
All in all this was a fantastic race, a definite step up from iNVNCBL since the Margam Park race. More obstacles and better atmosphere. Well done Adam and Natasha from invncbl, what you guys are doing for OCR and Obstacle Racing in Wales is awesome!
Invncbl have just announced a new series for 2016 called The Triad.
book it as soon as possible,as there will be price rises throughout the year
It’s a similar concept to the Spartan Trifecta. 3 races in 3 different location with a special medal for those that complete all 3. You can purchase a Triad Season Pass now at iNVNCBL. You can also book the Margam Park 2016 Race on the iNVNCBL website.
Please remember to select ‘Obstafit’ when you are asked on the website how you found out about the race.
We are also putting teams together for this race. Joining our team is a great idea if you want to save some money since you will get the team
discount. If you want to do so, please drop us an email noting your interest and we will reply with the details that we need from you. If you want to do this though book it as soon as possible,
as there will be price rises throughout the year. Lets get this booked!