Rat Race Dirty Weekend at Burghley House

Last weekend (9-11 May), Minh and I volunteered to course marshal the Rat Race Dirty Weekend at Burghley House. In return for our day of labor, we got free camping/parking, food vouchers and drink tokens, and some other race swag. It wasn’t the ideal weekend for camping, but the sun was out on Friday when we had to set-up the tent and the rain was less than expected on Saturday.. so all-in-all it wasn’t too bad to be out camping. The worst of the rain was mostly overnight and then again on Sunday afternoon after we had already packed up and left.

Minh and I got stationed at the start of the “Water Wipeout” section of the course. This section included “wading” in a section of the resevoir, an 80-meter swim with floating pontoons plus monkey rings at the end, a big waterslide, and a “walk the plank”. Considering temperatures were in the mid-50s that day, lots of people weren’t happy about having to get wet. But that’s what they signed up for, right?

The “wading” section where we were stationed was more like a swim + wading. The water was a little deep at the start, so people had to swim before it got shallow enough for them to stand up and walk. A lot of people were like “where are our buoyancy aids?”. Oddly enough, the life jacket station was AFTER this first obstacle.

We were out there all day, from 7AM until 2PM, and saw every single participant in the race. That was pretty cool. Afterwards, we got food and there was live music back at the event village. Some small bands to start, and then Reverend and the Makers as the main band. It was pretty nice entertainment.. Greg James from BBC Radio 1 came out after the bands, but we opted to go back to our tent and sleep. We’re not big on dancing.

The Rat Race Dirty Weekend actually looked like a really fun race, but it’s LONG. In terms of mud runs and obstacle courses, the full race is 20 miles long, with more than 200 obstacles. I don’t know if I could handle that much torture.. at least not at my current level of fitness.

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