The day for us started off with a short drive on a beautiful sunny morning to Armadale. Car parking was easy to find then a short walk to the main event area (The Bing). Registration was quick and easy so then it was time to get really nervous and visit the toilet lots.
Around 10 minutes before the start of our wave we were called into the starting area for a quick warm up by cheery bouncy Leeann, accompanied by some super banging tunes, just what we needed to get us warmed up and raring to go.
The starting and warmup area was in a work shop so as the countdown began they had to open up the roller doors to let us out, this was a nice touch and added to the excitement. The countdown began, the door slowly raised up and we were off.
The start went out onto the flat then up and down a small coal bing, over some round bales of straw, onto the tyre carry and a jump over a concrete hurdle. A great mixture of obstacles to challenge you from the start. We then ran towards the concrete tunnel, it was dark, long and enclosed, not for the claustrophobic but no need for me to duck much. I was glad to get out of the tunnel and pick up the pace again and jump over some plastic hurdles. At this point in the race I knew I was 1st female but had no idea of my overall position but knew I had a few guys in front of me.
We then ran up towards the top of the bing and got sent up and down the steep sides, we had ropes to help us up and down. Steep descents and climbs with the bing underfoot giving way, this was challenging and hammered the legs nicely. After the challenge of climbing the bing’s we had the water slide, fast and fun into a pool of cold dirty water, it was nice to cool down.
The next part of the course was more technical, dirty mounds to go up and over onto the monkey bars, the guy in front of me fell off, the guy to the side of me was struggling, I got onto the monkey bars and started going, I soon realised what the problem was, they were mega wet and slippy but I managed across, it was then the run up to the first 8 foot wall, us shorter ones got a punt up on arrival which was much appreciated.
The next section was a good long run to Cappers Farm where we would find the next lot of obstacles, firstly a climb over a flat bed lorry then onto the biggest and best obstacle on the course, a huge scaffold structure that involved a huge climb up, firstly an 8 foot wall, then a 5 foot climb up scaffold then a 4 foot wall then back down with a 4 foot jump, ladders then a pole to slide down. We then went back along the side of the obstacle with 15 meters of monkey bars. The longest monkey bars I have ever done in a race, it was a great feeling completing them.
We headed back out of Cappers Farm, firstly with some mini plastic hurdles then a mini wet tyre run, 8 foot wall, back over the flat bed lorry then the bit that gave me a peach of a bruise last year, Paint Ball Alley, but guess what? He missed this this year, well he missed me, John got hit a beauty.
It was now time for the run back to the Bing and finish line, at this point I know I have gained a few places but had no idea the only person in front of me was Connor, I had two guys relatively close behind me and John running alongside me but I have been working on my running so I knew I had a good pace in me and pushed it all the way back. When we arrived back at the Bing we had a water wade about waste deep and perfectly cold after the long run back then onto a very colourful powder paint run before the finish line, I have never finished a race looking so good and colourful, made a change to the usual head to toe in mud. I powered on towards the finish line crossing the line as first female and second over the line behind Connor McGourt. My full race was filmed by the amazing John Denovan and his GoPro, you can find this film on Tartan Warrior’s FB page. On crossing the finish line we were given our awesome medals/bottle openers, water and goodie bags.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been using Mountain Fuel and absolutely love it. My energy levels feel great while training and I felt great throughout this whole race. Check out their website for their range of awesome products.
Everyones times in the first two waves counted towards a podium finish so we had to wait to find out our official positions. Once the times were checked and verified we were presented with our amazing glass curved trophies, mines is so precious that it now lives on my bed side table, as we have 3 kids in the house and no trophy cabinet (yet) it’s the only safe place.
Official Podium Positions
1st Connor McGourt
2nd Michael Gray
3rd Graham Eastwood
1st Joda Quigley
2nd Carol Smellie
3rd Lauren Robertson
Bing Blazer certainly was bigger and better this year. Thanks to every one involved from the fantastic and supportive marshals to the bing men and women themselves, Harry, Leeann, Edyta, Michael and his awesome partners, John and Dougie. We can’t wait till Bing Blazer 2016, great work guys.