It’s not often we have a club member participate in a world championship, but that’s exactly what Simon Riley did on Saturday. The OCR World Championships made its 1st ever visit to the UK. After qualifying back in June, our Brummy Duracell Bunny has spent the last 5 months training hard and working on a strict regime in the gym to increase his upper body strength in preparation for this huge honour
Located at The Secret Nuclear Bunker site at Kelvedon Hatch in Brentwood the site is not as sinister as it sounds.
Originally built to house over 600 military and government personnel, including the Prime Minister, during a nuclear attack, it was decommissioned in 1992 and auctioned off. It is now a museum and host to numerous cross country and obstacle course races.
Simon travelled up on Friday to collect his number
“I was rubbing shoulders with champions from all over the world. All the hard work I’d put in and now it was real. It brought a lump to my throat to be honest”
Race day and the nerves had disappeared. Simon stood on the startline full of adrenaline and pride wearing his team United Kingdom kit. 100 obstacles lay ahead of him. Rope climbs, walls, monkey bars and muddy slurries. Everyone of them to be conquered one by one as they sapped his strength. All Simon had to do was run, jump, crawl, climb, throw and carry his way around the 15km course and make it to the notorious final wall climb to make it to glory.
“It was the toughest event I’ve ever done. The course pushed my physical abilities to testing point, I had to push any doubt I had down inside me and just keep going. As the last obstacle loomed before me the noise from the crowd was almost deafening. I could hear my wife’s voice in the crowd so I dug deep and gave it my all”
And boy did he give it his all! He completed 96 out of the 100 obstacles laying in his wake, unfortunately losing him the coveted 100% completion wristband, but still earning himself the finishers medal. He crossed the line in 3.09.54 giving himself 236th out of 1009 finishers and a cracking 29th in his age category.
“When they put the medal around my neck the tears welled up and the lump in my throat came back”
And proud he should be! An international competition smashed!
“I’m counting down the next 4 years until it returns to the UK again!”