Being selected to tackle the Fisherman’s Friend, Strongman Run in Germany (last weekend) was very special, but even more special was the experience itself. After the run across Canada, I’ve felt kind of flat, and thought that I wasn’t ready to hit the road again. However, having that build up of adventure spirit going to Germany, it well and truly ignited my flame again. And I forgot how much I missed it. I also loved the dynamic of throwing a load of people together, under one roof for an entire weekend – it had my EXCITABLE nerves rattling. It all began at Heathrow airport, where I said hello for the first time to everyone in the team, including a couple of heroic PR girls that participated, the wider Fisherman’s Friend team, and a straggler.
Team GB: Stuart “Army” Amory / Sophie “Challenge” Radcliffe / David “Race” Wearn / Ross “touchy feely” Edgley / Finn “Brains” Christo / Julia “abs” Buckley / Rob “Straggler” Munday and myself.
Team PR: Nicole “manage” Kennedy / Tanya “behave yourself” Braun.
The wider Fisherman’s Friend team: Geraint “generous” Jenkins / Nikki “The Boss” Thomson / Stephanie “artisic” Knapp.
Arriving at our very posh hotel in Germany, we were all treated to our own room before going to the night club to smash the free buffet. I would mention the free beer tab too, but after one beer, the stares we had from Nicole and Tanya, didn’t seem worth it. I wish I could have read their minds, although I think I did and it probably went something like this: “Jamie, you drink anymore beers, the night before race day, and I’ll be giving you a mother speech.” We all had an early night.
Race day come quickly and before I knew it, we were amongst over 14,000 contestants, dancing like raving German lunatics on the Famous Nuremberg Grand Prix Race track – preparing to run the longest obstacle course in the world. Yep, epic would be an understatement. In fact, I danced around so hard with Sophie and Stuart (just to warm up of course!) and got myself so worked up, that I came very close to wetting my pants.
This was the first time I ran since three months ago (Doctor’s orders), in Canada – I knew, this was going to hurt me but wasn’t going to stop me. “Boooooom!!!” We were off, 15 miles of racing track, mud, hills (endless hills), electric shocks, cold water, climbing ropes, and one massive water slide at the end. For the first lap of 7.5 miles I felt awesome, but it didn’t take long before being soaked, in gail force winds that my 5% body fat and lack of any potential insulation became obvious! Cold would be an understatement. All I did was run faster to keep warm, but it definitely brought back a few memories of the harsh Canadian winter. Although I squeezed out the last few miles, battered and bruised – I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. Out of over 14,000 people, Stuart, the legend and captain of the team, finished the race in 44th place and I came in at 157th. The rest of the team came in shortly after. The most inspirational moment of the entire weekend, had to be when the two PR girls, Nicole and Tanya finished. They were shivering to the point of being on the edge of hypothermia and Nicole saying “that was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” I love seeing people push their boundaries.
I was very happy with the outcome, and I’m certain everyone else was – as the saying goes, it’s not about chasing the big cake at the end, it’s about enjoying all the disgustingly delicious crumbs along the way.
Here’s a really cool one minute video of the run:
The Fisherman’s Friend, Strongman Run ROCKS – thank you for such an incredible weekend, and to all the people that made it so special.
Their website: http://www.fishermansfriend.com/en-us/