X-Runner Season Pass
In January of this year (2019) I decided I wanted to run another obstacle race and then one of the girls at work started talking about this X-Runner season pass. One cost, three different races, spread across 2019. So five of us signed up and we decided to support the National Autistic Society, since we all have personal and professional connections.
Even a month ago (September) I would have mocked myself for this decision. What was I thinking? But having now completed all 3 of the X-Runners I can smugly add them to my list of challenges and say I am so glad I signed up.
Each race, the Wild Mud Run, Water Wipeout and Wild Warrior offered unique aspects making them all worthwhile. ALL OF US would fully recommend the X-Runner Season Pass or at least trying one of the X-Runners.
Here is my round-up from each race!
X-Runner Wild Mud Run
April 2019: RACE ONE
We all felt nervous on the lead up to event one and between us had undertaken various preparation- ranging from virtually none to boot-camp style camps. I felt confident enough having done a couple of runs and plenty of conditioning sessions on the pole.
Here we are looking fresh faced before we began!
The Wild Mud Run, I am pleased to report, was exhilarating, scary, great fun and a challenge!
All 5 of us 'enjoyed' it- and managed well- despite not all taking training very seriously! Although I'd say a general level of fitness is definitely needed to 'enjoy' it.
I refer to 'enjoying' this and use the term reservedly. I signed up because I wanted a challenge and all of the X-Runner races were that. In hindsight, they are fun. But not easy and during all of the races I veered between shock, fear and thrill! Just writing this update makes my heart pound as I remember some of the obstacles.
We all had our own personal fears; for me it was cold water, Tracey heights and Lou enclosed spaces. The obstacles varied generally in difficulty and they tested all areas of our strength consisting of vertical walls, stacks of haybales, rows of tyres to pull yourself through (hilarious dragging your team mates through once you're on the other side), climbing wall, nets plus lots of muddy and boggy areas. The slide into a freezing river had to be the scariest thing for me. I loved and hated it! At least the plunge cleaned us off.
I attempted the monkey bars over water and slipped- although I made it over halfway- and plunged straight into the river below. The tubes which send you careering down a slip'n'slide were really scary but fun and jumping the floats over the river was intense- I just didn't want to fall in- again! We even got to jump over fire.
At the end of the course is a jump onto a huge inflatable. I had been nervous about this but by the time we were there I couldn't wait to take the leap- and it all be over with! I finished the race freezing cold but on an absolute high.
We completed 5k (1 lap) and jogged the majority of parts in-between obstacles. There were some hilly parts which some people struggled on and the really boggy parts were testing. One of our girls landed face first in the stinky sludge and plenty around us lost footwear. 5k was the right amount for this to remain 'fun' for us. Hats off to those going in for round 10k! We loved how many obstacles there were- it gives a break from the running but also tests other areas of fitness and strength.
The event was well organised with basic facilities. There was a bag drop area and tent to get changed- after reading about the events on the X-Runner website, our expectations were met.
X-Runner Water Wipeout
July 2019: RACE TWO
Did I say we all felt nervous before the last race? Well this time we were petrified.
Two words: River Rapids.
The weekend before the Wipeout I was at Glastonbury and I felt in no way, physically or mentally, ready to tackle this course, let alone jump into a raging river- numerous bodies of water in fact. It was a miserable day, and after days of sunshine beforehand!
Since Race One, Bec broke her wrist and was replaced by Hayley's sister, Louise. We were all feeling almost jealous of her reason to not take part... and we definitely missed her spirit. I know she was gutted to be missing out. But her replacement, Lou no. 2, did a cracking job.
For all our worrying this turned out to be our favourite course of the two!
The actual obstacles were pretty much the same- tyres, nets, haybales, walls- see RACE ONE for the lowdown.
The running aspect of the Water Wipeout was kinder- no mighty hills to overcome and no slippery muddy tracks and bogs. We ran the whole thing in-between obstacles and there weren't as many hold-ups.
There were a few short swims, one of which the water was full of weeds which tangled around my wrists and ankles- gross.
But I even liked the slide into the water this time and the speed tubes!
The highlight of this course was absolutely the thing which had terrified us the most, the River Rapids. We literally had to jump into a swirling river and wash away downstream on our backs- feet first so you don't crack your head open on a rock- but you are given a life jacket. It was so much fun and over far too quickly! In fact the whole race seemed to fly-by and the optional lap two was tempting this time. This was in stark contrast to Race One!
Hayley was actually staying and running the Junior race with her kids! Champion or what.
X-Runner Water Wipeout has a fun factor- as long as you're not adverse to open water!
In comparison I think the X-Runner Wild Mud Run was harder.
Although, all obstacles are optional.
This race left us feeling both confident and apprehensive over what to expect in the Wild Warrior.
By completing the Mud and Water version we felt prepared, and I'd definitely felt fitter, yet anxious because by now we knew exactly what to expect!
At this point, I'd wondered if the Wild Warrior would be much different or just a re-hash of what we had already experienced. I hoped it wouldn't be. The season pass cost over £100 and I still wanted to be challenged despite any misgivings over the next, and final, race.
X-Runner Wild Warrior
September 2019: RACE THREE
I wasn't overly nervous on the lead up to the Wild Warrior. It had been a hot week and race day (Saturday) was forecast to be blazing! Call me weird, but getting muddy and wet didn't seem so daunting in the heat. Bec, wrist healed, was back on board plus Katie, making six of us this time.
Hayley had, helpfully, enlightened us of a 'river jump' in this race's line-up and although I felt nervous about it, I told myself I did plenty of those in my teens. I would be fine!
Things began well- I felt stronger than ever before especially tackling the climbs. And even when a waist deep ditch of water took my breath away, I wasn't overly worried about the first little swim.
Now. That water was SO COLD it BURNED. I initially lunged forwards thinking submersing myself quickly would be better and then I couldn't stop screaming! It was AWFUL. All I could think, and shriek, was "I cannot fucking jump into water this cold!" The river jump was actually going to kill me.
Luckily for me, and my team mates, two fit guys swam by smiling at us and I was cured of my hysterics, momentarily. Ribbing aside, after that first short swim my skin felt like it was on fire for about twenty minutes. I quickly realised I was stupid to be glad of how hot it was. More water came soon after and my body acclimatised. And with the river jump still lurking in the back of my mind, and Bec laughing joyfully by my side, we took on two different types of slides into water along with everything in-between. The river jump, of course, turned out to be my favourite part. By now the water felt nowhere near as cold and I wish I knew that from the start so I hadn't crapped myself about it for the most part of the race! But maybe that's all part of the 'fun'- the unknown!
There were a number of tough obstacles in the Wild Warrior that we hadn't done before as well as all the classics featured in Mud Run and Water Wipeout including speed tubes, river inflatables and of course the leap at the end!
Over all I think this race was my favourite. If it included the river rapids from race two it would be perfect!
I genuinely laughed during all three races, possibly most during this one! And the finish line beer felt extra special since it was our last one and the sun was shining.
The girls are already talking of booking something else. I'll definitely be taking on new challenges soon. But for now, I'm suggesting a festival or a gig!
The X-Runner season pass gets a huge thumbs up from us.
It's worth noting there are additional charges for parking passes and bag drop service. Also we changed at the car after race two and three. I can't remember if this was because there wasn't a changing tent or if it was the simpler option. I did accidently give a couple an eyeful!
Tip: don't bother with a bra. Or pants even. Put wet clothes into a plastic bag, towel down, dry outfit on. (Remember socks and dry trainers).
Included in the price is an X-Runner t-shirt and medal.
I hope this has inspired you to take part! If it hasn't, I am sorry. I can honestly say, you SHOULD try at least one of them.
Drop your comments and questions below :)