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700 take on the first ever Commando Series event at Hever Castle

by Press Release
Tuesday 24th November 2015

Race report: Commando Series - Hever Castle

Commando Series - Hever Castle

This weekend saw 700 of the toughest men, women and even children (8 years and over) take on the first Commando Series, a 6km/12km 15 obstacle and endurance challenge at Hever Castle in Kent. Tackling exact replicas of the obstacles used by the Royal Marine Commandos at the Training Centre in Devon, participants showed their true grit and determination to make it across the wild terrain course. The course included the harsh grounds of the Castle’s surrounding forest and took in the unique caves and challenging waterways. Authentic Commando Instructors were on-hand at each obstacle ready to give participants help or encouragement, whether they wanted to ‘just get around’ or be ‘treated like a commando’. 

The course record for the fastest time, taking two laps of the route was set by Dean Stattmann from London, in an incredible one hour 25 minutes. Dean totally immersed himself in the experience by also taking on the overnight survival and bivouac experience, sleeping outside in the grounds and learning the guiding principles of survival. Another ‘recruit’ Richard who travelled from Bournemouth to attend the event said, “The event created a great sense of community with everyone helping each other out, the Commando Instructors were tough but the obstacles were fun and the course was brilliant.”

Some of the more well-known obstacles included the dreaded Sheep Dip and a 30m neck deep wading pool but wannabe recruits powered through each test with the help of Royal Marine Commandos stationed at each stop. All the finishers made it to the top of the last obstacle, the 12ft wall, conquering the biggest test of all. Each and every finisher was then rewarded with a Commando Series finisher dog tag.

Blind runner, Alison Mead and her guide GB athlete, Roz McGinty completed the entire course together finishing all the obstacles with the courage of true commandos. Roz says, “Who knew so much mud and water could be so fun. The Commando was simply awesome; tough, well-organised with a fab variety of obstacles.”

The Commando Series is endorsed by national charity partner, The Royal Marines Charitable Trust (RMCT). The RMCT is the overarching Royal Marines charity, which aims to raise funds to help provide a better quality of life to serving and retired Royal Marines and their families. The RMCT is a proud part of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and works closely with The C Group, inspiring business to support Royal Marines in need.

Brian Adcock, Commando in Chief, founder of the Commando Series and ex-Royal Marine comments, “This is the first year we’ve held the Commando and after an incredible response from the public we’re looking forward to hosting several more events across the UK in 2016. Everyone who’s taken part this weekend has showed incredible Commando spirit by getting stuck in, getting muddy and having a great time.”

The Commando Series was organised by the team who host and manage the well-respected Castle Triathlon Series.

Visit www.commandoseries.co.uk to register for 2016 events and for more information.

Mike Clyne, occasional Run247 columnist, was the on-site announcer at the Hever Commando Series event last weekend (#mikeonthemic!) and he has been telling us about his day:

This was my first exposure to OCR and it was a fantastic experience.  The atmosphere was very different from a triathlon or running event – not better or worse just different.  Other than some very keen racers it seemed that every competitor was taking part with at least one other person.  I saw lots of parent & child pairings, work groups, sports teams and just ‘group of mates doing it together’.  The whole air was full of friendship and fun which was just as well given the atrocious weather.

Watching the warm up was hilarious – the two commandos leading it struck just the right balance of motivation, encouragement and pure shouting!  Judging by the smiles that emanated from the warm up zone it seemed to hit the sport especially as everyone was wet and muddy before they even started.

My one regret – I didn’t get the chance to do the course before the race.  Hopefully if the Commando Series team will have me back again I will get the chance to experience it first hand before the event.

My one best memory from the day – as the day wore on I tried to move around as much as possible to keep myself warm.  I decided to commentate from the top of the 15 foot high giant steps that led down from the final obstacle which was the scramble net.  As I was at the top doing my announcing, I saw a family group approaching the bottom.  Dad and teenage son went up the cargo net and the teenage daughter followed.  Mum looked shattered and I watched as the daughter lent over from the top and very quietly encouraged her to start climbing.  As Mum came up the net, the daughter continued to softly speak words of support and as Mum reached the top the daughter’s face broke into the biggest smile.  The family hugged at the top and on they went. 

Now that is a good family day out!


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