I booked my first Reaper race soley from the amount of fun I had at their section at Mudnificent7 2015. It was also my first night running – taking on the day and night challenge with the Solo Mudders. I had missed their race in March due to a clash, so I had to make sure I booked the October race. How did it fair compared to other races this season? Read on – Reaper OCR Race Review (October 2017)
The “Elite” wave went off at 12noon, the Spring event was a Worlds qualifier but for whatever reason, this one wasn’t. Not 100% sure why there was so much of an additional cost to run the first wave – there wasn’t even chip timing. Waves were every 10 minutes and looked to be around 70 or so per wave. Ideal to get the runners through, but not to queue up too much at obstacles.
I ran at 12.20 and after a short safety briefing from Mr Reaper “We have very interesting, challenging but acheivable and safe obstacles” and a short warm up, we were off. Straight to the sternum checkers and queues! To be fair, it was only the first few obstacles – maybe up to 1km that we experienced some queuing, the runners did spread out quite evenly and the rest of the run was pretty free flowing.
The Reaper OCR run in total was around 9km, with around 7.5km within the woods. It was great for trail running, some technical, some easy trail to really out the burners on and quite a few mud holes, large puddles and bogs to slow you down. The obstacles were spaced very evenly too, there was never a “long” bit of running before coming up to an obstacle. The course winding through the woods also meant you never really ran a straight line, getting bored.
None of the obstacles were technically challenging or intense, but acheivable by all and a lot of fun. A number of rigs within the woods, a “Night Club” DJ’d by awesome marshals, floating hurdles and the very muddy kermit kanyon (I was still cleanbing crap out of my eyes later that evening) are some of the more interesting obstacles. Mamma Mia and an epic kicker of a water slide was around for the water fiends (and also great for finishing “clean”). I am happy to report there was only one carry with a few switch backs. The area is pretty flat (this is not a complaint) but the use of the woods and trails more than made up for this.
The finishing obstacle was a ninja wall – their slide retro fitted with ropes and a “ladder” for those that couldn’t scale it without help. Personally, a small mis-step here – we were finishing wet so many people were face planting trying to run up the wet ramp. Whilst the “hand hold” at the top was too wide for most people (and slippery when wet). My suggestion if they choose to do this again – a grippy material up the ramp and a different hand ledge at the top for grip.
Medal and race vest was awesome – However, I am waiting for mine to come in the post. They had an issue with their supplier and they didnt arrive in time, No problem, they have my address and I know it will come in the post at some point. It’s a bit of a shame though, and if I remember, they have had issues with their supplier before. Maybe time to look for someone else?
For very new runners and families, there was the “dry 5” option – no water or deep mud and I saw many families laughing and enjoying this option. Great innovation to pick up new runners and really does make it a very family friendly event.
Logisitics – Based at the Heart of England Conference Centre (and travelling there several times before) it was an easy run down on the M6 (just under an hour). Car parking is very close to the event village (no more than a couple of minutes walk for those fuirthest asway) and whilst it was free, a donation to charity (marshalling the car park) was encouraged.
Registration was simple – name and ID – whilst the key drop was free (Bag drop not required as you were so close to the car park).
Event village was small but perfectly formed – a couple of outlets for food/drinks, OCR Bears in attendance, MySports and More and Swimzi. There was also a play bus for the kids to have fun and play around. The start was central to the event viollage was the finish line also finished in the village. Great for spectators.
I paid £40 for my ticket (with a discount via Solo Mudders) and I think for the run, car parking, medal, finisher vest and free photos this is good value. This isnt an intense or challenging Obstacle course race for the regular. But there are plenty of options for all runners to have fun and I may take on the night challenge again next year.
Dates for next year are already online and bookable here