With the spring OCR season now in full-swing, I was looking forward to Yorkshire Warrior a lot, after the previous weekend’s adventures were predominantly just a trail run, I couldn’t wait to haul my arse over some big-ass walls.
Described on their website as… Yorkshire Warrior is the ultimate challenge. 10 OR 5 tough miles across the Yorkshire countryside with hills, bogs, 200m river walk, 800m underground tunnel (yes, you read that right…. Half a mile underground!!) fire, ice bath, barbed wire, electric fence, crawling, climbing, log carrying plus lots more! Sounds awesome. We’d opted for the 10 miles obviously!
Up bright and early for the 9am wave, we (Team Victorious Secret – Ellie and Naomi) drove the 40minutes (a local run, wahey!) to the outskirts of Harrogate to the Yorkshire Showground. The sun was shining but at 8am, but the air was still cold. This called for a last minute decision to ditch my UA vest top in favour of my UA long sleeve (spare kit FTW!). Parking was a breeze (and free), registration was quick and easy (for me… Ellie had a few issues), and it wasn’t long until we were ready to go.
The one frustrating thing was the £5 spectator fee. The route was very poor for spectators, the 10 miles was pretty much a straight 5 miles out, and 5 miles back, so spectators could pretty much only see you start and finish. My dad had come to watch, so I felt pretty bad that he would be waiting for the best part of 2 hours without too much to see!
The wave was a pretty big size so I was awaiting the inevitable bottlenecks. Apart from a few at the start (including the first ‘obstacle’, which was a gap in a fence), and the odd bit of congestion in the first few miles, there really weren’t many queues, which was great. The running was nice (which is good, as there was to be a lot of it!) – it was a lovely sunny day and the scenic Yorkshire countryside didn’t disappoint.
But yes… the course map had ‘bigged-up’ the obstacles perhaps a tad too much. I was expecting rope climbs, tyre carrys, etc, but the obstacles did leave a little to be desired.
Where’s the fire for the fire jumps?
Ellie described them as ‘minor inconveniences’, rather than proper obstacles! The ‘rope climbs’ were climbs up a muddy bank, with a rope there to help, but they weren’t steep enough for you to really need the rope… the tyres were just a pile of tyres to climb over.
I wasn’t sure this A frame would last the day!
One of the many cargo nets!
Ellie taking on the sloped, slippery wall thing.
Can’t beat some monkey bars though… after my fails at Judgement Day, I was very pleased to complete the monkey bars. The rungs were pretty close together though, so they weren’t the most challenging!
It has been suggested on the OCR Facebook that perhaps they have targeted the run more at fun-runners… the walls were low, and had foot-holes, the hills weren’t really too challenging at all, and the river section had been cut short (certainly wasn’t 200m as advertised!).
Fun in the river!
Not to be too negative, a couple of interesting elements of the course were the 800m underground tunnel, and the 400m timed sprint… oh and I actually really enjoyed the slide too (maybe because i was told i’d got the furthest so far)!
Before entering, you were warned to walk rather than run to avoid tripping, as for the vast majority of the tunnel, you couldn’t see your hand in front of you. Promptly ignoring the warning, we jogged on, somehow managing to avoid any major trips or falls! The echoes of squeals and yelps were fun to hear. If anyone heard any owl ‘twit twooing’ echoing down the tunnel… that might have been me.
The light at the end of the tunnel!
As we were running as a team, our time wasn’t really a top priority, although the timed sprint provided opportunity to inject a bit of competition! 400m is a really tough distance to judge; you can’t sprint it all, yet take it too easy and you’ll still have some power left in you by the end. I took it fairly steady at first, then picked up my pace. Without the end visible at all, it was quite a psychological challenge, as well as physical. I think I got about half way, my quads burning up, and I had to stop to walk for a few paces. “c’mon Greene, quit being lazy!” my inner self said… so I set off again.
The end of the 400m sprint section
Finally the end was in sight and I was able to power over the finish, quads on fire. I say, “power over the finish”, I felt really quite slow. However, when the results were published, turns out I was joint 9th female, and ‘only’ 13 seconds behind the winner. Apparently there were 1160 female runners. Pretty pleased! My quads were less so…
We had spoke around the half-way mark… “do we get a medal with this one?”… as we’d all paid around the £50 mark, we assumed we would. Unfortunately, when we crossed the line, it became apparent from the murmur of the finishers, that there was no medal, and in fact, not even any water. There were only 2 water stops on the 10-mile course (I didn’t mind so much), but some water at the finish line really is preferable!!
We were given a tshirt (the same, regardless of whether you’d ran 5 miles or 10 miles) and some Haribo. The Haribo is still in my car. The tshirt.. not sure i’ll wear it? WHERE’S MY MEDAL? Rant over, kinda.
I did really enjoy Yorkshire Warrior, it had some unique sections as described above, and I would definitely do it again, but mainly because its local. If it clashed with another event, I’d have to think twice. The marshalling also left a little to be desired. A couple of times we were left wondering which direction we were to go in. We were in the first wave and we passed some teenage marshalls already talking about what time they’d have to be there until…. guys, be grateful it was sunny!
I also don’t think the running/obstacles ratio was right, I would have liked more obstacles please!
Here’s my garmin.
My final thought… Yorkshire has awesome potential for OCR. Tough Mudder Yorkshire is considered the toughest Tough Mudder course in the UK due to the relentless hills. It also has some pretty epic views of the dales from the top. So it’s a real shame that the rest of the Yorkshire offering is pretty poor (in my opinion).
As a disclaimer, I did the Major series in 2013 (which I didn’t rate, it may be better now), and that’s it, so I’m not really qualified to make such a statement.. I have high hopes for Total Warrior Leeds in June… but I just think Yorkshire has awesome potential for OCR, yet i keep having to make 500 mile round trips for the best ones!…
Ok rant over 🙂 C’mon Yorkshire, step up!
And here’s my video.. which already has 600+ views on youtube!