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Girl power at the Monster Race

by Paul Hayward
Friday 18th April 2014
Tags  Monster Race   |   Paul Hayward   |   OCR

Race preview:  Our obstacle racing columnist Paul Hayward takes a look ahead at the Monster Race - May 17, 2014

Monster Race - May 17, 2014

When considering participating in an Obstacle Course race (OCR), cost is becoming an increasingly important factor. With a number of events charging well over £100 entry for entries in the last two months before an event, whether or not to enter an OCR can be a costly decision if you leave it too late or if you are new to the scene and simply do not know.

A couple of my friends made me aware of a local OCR, known as the “Monster Race”, that is taking place on May 17, 2014. The event offers two distances, a 5k and a 10k, and is going against the norm by charging around the £50 mark for entry.

I often hear complaints that costs are just too high, so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to highlight and preview an event that attempts to offer something for all competitors and will not break the bank for making a late entry.

Monster Race’s race director Simon was keen to emphasise that his aim is to offer value for money. This can be seen in Simon’s decision not to charge for parking or take an entry fee spectator admission, to offer a children’s Monster Race on the day and to offer free digital pictures of all competitors racing.

Monster Race is set to take place in the idyllic location of Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire which benefits from an “ancient forest, lakes, farmland and deer parks”.  Often used for TV production or private functions, Simon enthusiastically stated that the venue offers fantastic terrain with a mixture of undulating woodland, lakes and bogs that, coupled with obstacles, will really push and challenge competitors.   

Competitors will have the option of either doing the 5k “Monster in training” or the full 10k “Monster” across a 5k course. Simon’s rationale behind the laps was to offer competitors an accessible race where the 10k maybe too much for an individual; so they have the opportunity to come and take part in the 5k race and build towards the 10k in the future.

Monster Race - May 17, 2014

Each lap will consist of 23 obstacles and although Simon was a little coy, as is the norm with race directors these days, as to what obstacles competitors can expect, he did confirm that there will be different types of walls, log frames and a number of water based obstacles such as the “water cannon” to surmount.

Simon’s inaugural event, held in November 2013 at Charlton Park, attracted a staggering 1,100 competitors and this success is set to be repeated (if not bettered) this year with a high number of these competitors returning - the event received pretty much 99% positive feedback! Also, and interestingly, the male / female breakdown favours the females who make up 65% of 1,100 competitors which is certainly refreshing to see.

The “race village” will benefit from a bag drop, changing tents, an onsite bar, catering and each competitor will receive hydration gels and a Monster medal. Sadly, there is no T-shirt - Simon explained that in order to keep the costs down and offer value for money; this cut had to be made. On the basis that Monster Race is one of the few events where competitors can get free race pictures; I do not think we can grumble too much!

It is not too late to enter the Monster Race; with the 5k costing £47 and the 10k £55 with no hidden charges - this has to be one of the best value for money races on offer and is certainly worth considering.

Monster Race - May 17, 2014

Details of the Monster Race on 17th May 2014 and entry can be found at www.monsterrace.co.uk

If you cannot make this race then there is another Monster Race on 1st November 2014 which will, excitingly, offer an Elite wave.

About The Author

Paul Hayward

I am 33 years old and spend the majority of my life within an office environment. Whilst I played football, I never really took an interest in sport let alone athletics. In 2011 I joined a gym as I was slightly concerned about my weight. However I was, like an awful lot of my colleagues, coasting and I considered spinning three times a week a workout.
This changed when I took up a circuits class and found myself entering Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest London in November 2011. I was assured by my friends that this was a good idea and would be a “challenge”.
I had never entered any form of competitive event before and training for this run changed me. I listened to my personal trainer, who assured me that if I quit drink I could be dangerous, and sorted out my diet, stopped drinking so much and focussed my training. I completed the race in just over an hour and I was instantly bitten by the racing bug, I loved the challenge the event offered. 
Nearly two years on I have completed a half marathon in 1hour 49 minutes, came 6th in the Rat Race Horseplay 5k event and usually come within the top 30% at Obstacle Course races. I am also a part time triathlete and I am lucky to find myself in a running club where we have a great coach and the focus is on members. If I am honest - I came to running through these events and I am not alone.
My aim through Run 247 is to promote, discuss and publicise Obstacle Course racing. It is becoming huge and over the coming months we will cover all of the major races and the new competitors entering the scene. 

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