Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest 2014 – Nottingham   Leave a comment

The National Water Sports Centre hosted the Nottingham leg of the Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest 2014 event today. There was an ‘extreme’ class, an ‘average Joe’ class and also a ‘Super Hero’ class. Oh, and as usual, a ‘whacky people’ class:

Here’s the event in words and pictures:

DL8D0104_0170What the T Shirt says.

The event is fundamentally a 10km obstacle course traversing up hill, down hill, through water and over and under various torturous obstacles.

DL8D0385_0249For example this is the ‘Mangle’ (ask yer mum) constructed from old car tyres. It was great fun as long as you were only watching….

DL8D0389_0252…. see, great fun!

And there were nets to scramble under….

DL8D0294_0230.. with added mud of course.

And if you were lucky benevolent competitors held the net up at the start and finish….

DL8D0125_0183… for example. Always amazes me how some people have that knack of staying clean and looking beautiful during these things.

Part of the course featured a water slide….

DL8D0500_0289… constructed from pool liner with water sprinklers at the top, terminating in one of the many small lakes on the site. So a 30 meter slide into a freezing cold lake. As you can imagine it solicited some interesting facial expressions:

DL8D0780_0408From abject terror…..

DL8D0515_0296….. excitement (crazy person) …..

DL8D0669_0369… mild bewilderment (this was the winner of the ‘Whacky Person’ class – I’m pretty sure this guy is supposed to be a ‘Minion’) …

DL8D0707_0381… general ‘uncertainty principle’ (Top Beard competition was won by this chap)…

DL8D0737_0394… to finally a mix of terror and excitement! Best possible combo.

Having almost completed the 10km slog contestants had to run down a lake-side bank, leap onto and across two floating inflatable pontoons….

DL8D9593_0051… and from that precarious perch out onto a line of rubber rings….

DL8D9403_0013… after a while it became apparent that the rubber rings were optional and swimming was employed. Either that or this bloke is just cheating!

This section ended with survivalists having to haul themselves up out of the lake and onto a wooden jetty…


… a very old wobbly wooden jetty….

DL8D9672_0081.. which was tres slippery…

DL8D9643_0070… and a cruel exit when everybody was pretty much exhausted.

DL8D9646_0072Thighs were burning….

DL8D9612_0061… feet were aching….

DL8D9710_0087… buttocks had been clenched….

DL8D9655_0076… and resolve had been set for the next section just 5 meters further on and back in the lake.

What fun! Competitors had to fling themselves back in the lake and then climb up a 6 meter floating inflatable climbing wall!

DL8D9730_0090This was a very big ‘ask’! Most didn’t conquer the climb and having fallen off several times opted for swimming around it. …

DL8D9916_0120… it was tough….

DL8D9851_0115 … but a few scaled it with aplomb.

DL8D9805_0107And even had time for a cheeky grin…

DL8D9929_0126.. or two!


…… Controversy. The Super Hero class came into disrepute:

DL8D0620_0342Captain America (pictured here standing heroically) had his shield stolen and was not best pleased.

But the real shocker was the disgraceful encounter between Gotham’s Dark Knight; Batman and the Amazing Spiderman!

Whilst Batman was waiting patiently at the top of the water slide for his go, Spiderman appeared to push in front of the caped crusader …

DL8D0571_0315(Batman waits patiently for his turn.)

….. at which point Batman cut back in front of Spiderman – a scuffle ensued and Batman lost his footing and unintentionally slid half way down the slide, twisting his ankle in the process.

DL8D0585_0326 (HOLY SPRAINED ANKLE Robin – they’ll be no crime fighting in Gotham City tonight, citizens!)

Batman complained and pointed out the web slinging culprit to a steward:

DL8D0582_0324 The steward tries to calm the caped crusader down.

After several minutes Spiderman did the decent thing and declined his go on the slide and came over to apologise:

DL8D0626_0345(Spidey says ‘sorry’ but batman is having none of it and foolishly unmasks himself!)

The crime-fighting super hero’s race was run…

DL8D0646_0361.. and he was carted off to be taken to the St John’s ambulance tent, explaining to the driver that it wasn’t ‘his fault’. He was later seen hobbling around the car park looking for the Bat Mobile.

So, an eventful day came to an eventful end….

DL8D9975_0141… and I think this last image really says it all. 🙂

For those of a photographic bent; all the images were shot today with a Canon 400mm IS f2.8.

(C) Drew Smith Photography.


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