United Graphic Design become Invncbl

Apr 23, 2015   //   UGD Talk

Seconds to go before the whistle blows, nerves are taking over and I’m thinking to myself, WHY DID I SIGN UP FOR THIS?

Last weekend saw myself enter as part of a team, at Margam Parks first Invncbl Race! The madness started back in January when discussions about what an over forty, over weight, asthmatic could achieve, inevitably the conversation reached the point where I was placed in the category of being ‘over the hill’. This got me thinking, surely age and weight doesn’t matter, apparently life begins at 40! Won’t I will always be invincible????

That’s when I decided to take on the challenge, to prove to myself that no matter your age or fitness, you can set yourself goals to achieve and I got myself signed up.

Having spend zero hours doing any form of exercise for the previous 40 years, this was indeed going to be a challenge for me. I set about gathering friends and family who wanted to join me in achieving this goal, to complete this course!

29th January saw us entering our first ever Invncbl run, taking place on 18th April 2015, we had 12 weeks!

February saw lots of laughs and giggles at the prospect of us taking part, the idea of running through mud, climbing through tunnels, wading through water and of course skidding down the giant water slide was going to be……. fun right? We never gave much thought to running the 10k inbetween the obstacles, that wouldn’t cause to much of a problem surely?

First training day came the middle of February, new trainers, running trousers and top purchased, I was ready to go! Half a mile in I needed to stop as I thought my heart was going to pop out of my chest! At that point I thought to myself, I may need to rethink this a little more.

As the weeks passed myself and the team put in regular training, I clearly needed extra help as my fitness level was almost zero, so I signed up for a fitness session once a week and three times a week I went for a little jog, gradually gaining more speed and distance (just thought I would mention I was never going over 3 miles or over 13min per mile, so no fear of me getting picked for the next Olympics haha)!

Race day arrives and there is no more I can do  – I’m in it now and I have to complete this course, even if it takes me all day. I can’t really explain how I was feeling being the around a number of fitness fanatics, all fired up, all fully fit and then there was me, still over forty and still unfit! Sickness, nerves, anxiety all rolled in to one, along with a fear for life, were all I could think or feel!

I lined up with the team, all wearing pink t-shirts, of course I wouldn’t want anyone to miss me falling off a wall or land face first in the mud (again another decision I didn’t think through). Before I know it the whistle blows and we are off, yes that’s right I’m running the the Invncble Race with hundreds of other competitors, taking on the 10km run, climbing over 8ft walls, through barb wire fences, running up rivers, climbing through dirty skips, 30ft cargo nets and of course giant water slides.

As I climbed the first mile up the side of the mountain my thoughts were, I’m out, can’t do it, can I just stop and go back down? But my team pulled together and urged me on, offering support encouragement and of course the much needed giggles!

Around 2 hours of running, jumping, climbing the finishing line was in sight! Cheers from family and friends for all the team echoed around the venue, giving me that extra boost I needed to tackle the final wall. We all gathered in our team, joined hands and crossed the finish line as one!

Over the last few months I have had many moments of dread and complete terror at the prospect off entering the race, and thought about pulling out on more than one occasion, but I can safely say after completing it that it was one of the best experiences in my 41 years, the sense off achievements was incredible and I am extremely proud of myself and our team!
I am invincible (I have the medal to prove it hahahahaha)

Huge congratulations to all competitors, race organizers and supporters, great event, great day, great achievements for all who participated.
So……….I look forward to planning next years challenge, what ever that will be?????

Life begins at forty guys!

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