Total Warrior: When the smoke has cleared

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Meeting at 09.30 for the coach precluded any chance of a Saturday lie-in, but the team still arrived chipper and keen for the Total Warrior challenge. Takeaway coffees in hand, we set off on our journey through Northumbria and Cumbria.

Arriving around 11.30, we trekked to the site and registered for the race. The music, the crowds and the laughter all buoyed our spirits, rendering most of us oblivious to the unrelenting and slightly chilly rain indigenous to the Lake District.

At 12.50, our wave waited in the starting pen, bouncing up and down to the music with pent-up enthusiasm and nerves. We smiled and cheered as the announcer stirred up the crowd. We shouted together: FIVE…FOUR…THREE…TWO…ONE…

And they’re off!

From the beginning, our very own Craig Bradshaw and Peter Stranney were out ahead of the group — ahead of everyone, in fact. The rest of us found each other along the way, in small squads, muddied almost beyond recognition.

There were slippery hills and deep pools of water. There were entirely muddied paths and paths made entirely of mud — nearly up to your waist. There were ropes, walls, fire, mud, rivers, more mud, hills, electric shocks, a slip’n’slide, and some monkey bars right at the end. If you want to get to grips with the whole course, you can read about it on the Total Warrior infographic we made last month.

Every single person on the Mediaworks team completed the course — most a little after the two-hour mark. No one failed to finish it. But don’t misinterpret that as meaning the course was easy. Aching muscles and blistered feet tell the honest truth of the challenge.

The heroes of the day were Craig Bradshaw and Peter Stranney, who beat everyone else in our wave of the competition. In fact, they were so fast that they caught up with the back of the previous wave of warriors. Craig Bradshaw said:

I finished in 1hr 25min. Mine and Peter’s times would’ve been much quicker if there wasn’t such a long wait for some of the obstacles — we were like coiled springs!

Peter Stranney was a close second with 1hr 29min. He said:

I loved the run; I met each obstacle with a few expletives, a nervous laugh and a determination to quickly see the back of them. I thought I was doing well, dancing through the electric cables, ‘til I got zapped on the cheek. I was finished with at 9k, but I reckon Craig could have done it twice.

It’s Monday, two days after the ordeal, and the war stories have circulated the office. We’ve compared scars and blisters, bruises and anecdotes. It was a great experience and we feel closer for it.

What challenges have you and your workmates taken on together? Share your stories in the comments below!


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