In the mailbag this week comes an email from VFFer Allan who recently partook in a very unusual 10K race through Edinburgh, Scotland. The race was a mixture of running and running through, around, or over various obstacles. Allan completed the race in his grey and orange Classic FiveFingers.
Here is Allan's account of the wily race through Edinburgh:
First of all, I love your website! Birthdayshoes is brilliant to find out about other fivefigner wearers and what they get up to, as well as finding out about all the latest news.
Last sunday, I took part in the final challenge of a three part "survival of the fittest" running event in Edinburgh, Scotland wearing my grey fivefingers classics ... The run was 10km through the centre of Edinburgh, but this was no ordinary run, as several “challenges” tested the runners throughout.
The race began on the historic Royal Mile, which connects Edinburgh Castle & the Scottish parliment. One hundred meters down from the start line, runners had to clamber over a series of hay bail walls, before continuing down the narrow side streets & stairwells of the Old Town before reaching 'Jacob's Ladder' – three hundred narrow steep steps connecting the city's lower level with it's upper level. Soon after this came the climb up Calton Hill, a one hundred meter elevation that forms part of Edinburgh's former volcanic landscape. A combination of stepped & off-road track led the runners to their next challenge – an army assault course comprising cargo net climbs, rope swings, monkey bars & crawling under cargo nets.
Runners then received a welcome aid as the course flowed back down the hill, down 'Jacob's Ladder' & back into the Old Town, where runners met their next unique challenge – a short clamber through two wrecked cars (in the boot, out through the front window).
The next couple of kilometers offered the nearest thing to a conventional running race, although contenders still had to deal with the undulating nature of the city. After a short time, runners arrived at the centrepiece of Edinburgh's volcanic iconography, Arthur's Seat, where the runners enjoyed a brief moment of fun with a thirty foot water slide down the hillside.
The next challenges took runners through artificial spiders webs & a 'wall of water' provided courtesy of two of Edinburgh's fire engines and their hoses. A five hundred meter long sub-terrain disused railway tunnel took runners further towards their finish line, leading runners toward Edinburgh's night life centre, the Cowgate. Here, runners had to navigate a comical tribute to the city's current bain – a building site, complete with rock climbs, blockade hurdles and a trek up and down a four-storey derelict building. Runners then faced a sharp uphill climb back to the Royal Mile where the next (inflatable) assault course brought a smile to some tired faces. Heading back through the Cowgate, runners approaching the finish had to navigate a series of skilful Parkour challenges before entering the finishing straight – or so runners thought...
An unwelcome route diversion took runners one hundred meters up the side of The Mound, a volcanic throne for Edinburgh Castle, before competitors raced down to the finishing line to face an eight foot wall – get over by any means necessary. The finishing line followed to mark a memorable and challenging ten kilometer run .
I completed the race in a team of six, wearing my grey VFF classics (with socks for comfort). This was the first time I've run any significant distance in my VFFs, but i thoroughly enjoyed it (except for the sharp rocks in the building site :( ). Without any prior training for the event and with several stops to wait for some of the other fifteen hundred contenders to pass through, I finished in a reasonable time of 1 hour 15 minutes (normally a slow time for 10k, but given the circumstances I am satisfied). I will certainly be trying more events like this in my VFFs!
Thanks very much,
Sounds like it was quite a wild 10K! I'm impressed that you managed it so quickly, particularly given it was your first race in FiveFingers. It's also good to know your VFFs managed such an adventurous obstacle course with ease (sharp rocks aside)!
Thanks for sharing with us, Allan!