The squad excitedly boarded the minibuses, still baffled as to what the “fun” group activity was going to entail. On arrival at the destination it quickly became apparent: an army style obstacle course! To get a bit of intra-squad competition going they split into two aptly named teams: At least I’m not in Ely versus The Burpees Option.
The challenge was to complete as many laps of the obstacle course in the allotted time of 8 minutes. The course was split into two halves and the number of people completing it was counted. If an obstacle couldn’t be conquered, the penalty was 5 burpees. The first half of the course entailed carrying tyres, jumping over barriers, climbing ladders, ducking under and climbing over wooden bars, crawling under nets, monkey bars and a lot of running in between.
The second half was just as tricky with wire, climbing nets, a balancing beam, mud pits, more tyres, and culminated with an inclined wall which needed a helpful foot-up from team mates. The mud pits were ‘particularly enjoyable’ and made the obstacles behind them much trickier – it was similar to what you see watching Total Wipeout on TV.
As an added twist, each team chose 3 “champions” to complete the entire course as quickly as possible. This helped to spur on everyone else with both teams putting in maximum effort and choosing to take little rest between laps.
The Burpees Option managed a respectable 29 laps but At least I’m not in Ely were victorious with 37 laps – even loosing 2 members due to minor injury couldn’t stop them. The Fortitude Fitness Centre coaches were impressed with the squad’s performance, as it their first experience of hosting a rowing team. A special mention should also go to President, Caroline Reid, who led from the front and made it into third place on the all-time leaderboard with a time of 6:24, putting her only 33s below first place, a top GB Duathlete.
Muddy, smelly, but having bonded as a team, the squad was keen to take these experiences back into the rest of their training.