On the 24th of October 2015 I took part in my last race of the year. This was “The Pain Barrier” at Parkwood. What appealed to me was that not only did it seem very cheap, but it was practically on my door step and one of the few remaining races so late in the year.
Upon arrival I was pleasantly surprised that there was free ample parking and registration process was by far the fastest of any of the other races I’ve participated in this year. Having arrived an hour earlier than needed to for my wave could have played a large part in that, but I can only comment on my experience on the day and besides the bad weather I was very pleased with my experience so far. Inside my registration pack was my timing chip, 2 cable ties and my number.
They say it’s grim up North, but they also say people are friendly up here too. I can confirm that both were true at this event. The MC announced that Wave 2 should make their way to the starting line and the atmosphere was great! It’s always good to see people turning up to races like these in fancy dress. I positioned myself next to a bunch of Nun’s and thought I’d ask if they could say a prayer for me before the race for good luck. It didn’t work, but great guys! Once the race started there wasn’t too much congestion and I was able to overtake without going too off track. I found out very quickly that the course was going to be extremely wet and muddy (It’s grim up North remember?) and very hilly. There were a lot of hill climbs on this run and a lot of the obstacles made best use of the naturally hilly surroundings. Halfway through the race my GoPro froze on me. I stopped to try fix it (as the cost of a half decent finish time), but unfortunately it couldn’t be saved (Video below).
I lost count how many times the course had us at least knee deep in water, but it was great fun and it was good to see a lot of photographers dotted round the course snapping away. Photo’s from the event can be found on the official facebook page.
The final stretch was a glorious run in the open and mostly down hill, which a great way to finish the race as majority of the course was under the cover of trees. Sprint finish over the finish line and greeted by the excellent staff there who handed me a bottle of water and my goody bag.
Post Race Goody Bag
The goody bag was great. Inside you got a good quality 2015 finishers medal, a Cliff bar which is great and vegan friendly too, some other sweets and snacks, a technical t-shirt which was an unfortunate shade of “purple”, but it was definitely pink. I can’t complain about the quality of the top, especially after the serious downgrade of Tough Mudders 2015 finisher t-shirts, but maybe try a safe black next year guys.
The Pain Barrier is outstanding value for money and the. This course is perfect for anyone wanting to do a “mud run”. It’s a shame about the finishers t-shirt colour, but for the price you paid I don’t think you can complain too much. Looking forward to next year already.
Price: Last minute £32.50
- Excellent course
- Quick participant registration
- Brilliant value for money
- Chip timing
- Friendly vibe
- Pink t-shirts