Fancy having a go at an obstacle race, but find the military macho-ness of events like Tough Mudder and Spartan Race a little off-putting? Then Rough Runner may be the answer to your prayers.
What is Rough Runner?
Inspired less by SAS training techniques and more by ridicumazing game-shows such as Wipeout, Gladiators and Takeshi's Castle, Rough Runner is all about putting the LOLz back into obstacle racing.
There's still mud to be run through and ramps to be clambered, but you can also expect giant bouncy balls, six-foot pigeons, walls that try to punch you, and Rough Runner's trademark obstacle, The Travelator:
How fit do you need to be?
Course distances range from 5 kilometres to 10 miles, so you can find one that matches your fitness levels. But even if you opt for the 5k, don't expect the obstacles to be a pushover – Rough Runner may be all about fun, but it's still a proper challenge. "Prepare to dig deep," say the organisers.
Besides these priceless pieces of advice from Mudstacle's Pete Rees , we'd also advise that you don't take yourself too seriously when tackling a Rough Runner event. It's pretty much impossible to look like a rugged Special Forces bad-ass when you're boinging around in a pit of enormous coloured balls.
It's impossible to look like a rugged bad-ass in a pit of enormous coloured balls
What do people say about it?
"Tom", a regular over on the Mudstacle forums, said of a 2014 Rough Runner event in Borden, Kent, "I didn’t see anyone without a smile on their face, having a good time." So that's good then, intit.
How do I sign up?
Visit the official Rough Runner website and take your pick from Bereleigh Estate in Hampshire (Saturday 18 July 2015); Clapham Common, London (Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September 2015); Manchester (late October, exact date TBC).
And don't forget to invite some mates along to become "Roughians" with you – this is the kind of event that'll fuel raucous pub conversations for weeks afterwards.