Over 700 competitors braved the mud to take part in the second year of the Stockport Tough Tribe obstacle course race.
Having moved to a new stomping ground at Woodbank Park, Stockport, the race took place on Sunday 23rd September and introduced one of the longest slip slides on the UK’s Obstacle Course Race – OCR – calendar.
With increased capacity and a new family event added after its inaugural year in 2017, 720 regulars and brave beginners got stuck in for the 10k and 5k courses, which were open to both individuals and ‘tribes’.
Elite OCR competitors travelled from across the country to compete on the 10k course, which runs over open ground, through dense woodland and into water, making use of both natural and man-made obstacles across the course.
The year, Claire Jones (above) from Leeds was the first woman across the line, closely followed by Jo Van DeKalf and Alex Howard-White, both from Stockport.
“It’s my second time doing Tough Tribe. The obstacles are really good, I liked the mixed terrain and the trails are fantastic. It feels excellent to be the first woman finishing the race!
“I’d definitely do it next year. In fact, I’m about to join in with the Social Run Club and my kids who are all doing the 10k course for the first time, so I’m off for a second run round the course!”
Number one man was Ollie Sterne from Cheadle Hulme who completed the course in 48 minutes and managed to beat Joel Grocock from Hazel Grove and Jason Jacob from Corby in Northamptonshire, who came in second and third places respectively.
Ollie Sterne, first man to finish said:
“I thought the race was amazing, the obstacle placement was really good, the technical trails were great fun and the build quality of the obstacles was fantastic. The race was marshalled really well which made me feel safe.
“In my opinion the obstacles were better placed this year, they were more spread out, it wasn’t too intense at one point, it tested you all the way through. It was also longer than last year so we had a good running section.
“It feels great winning the race this year considering I finished fourth last year, but I trained harder and faster so I’m really happy that I get to take home the trophy this year.”
Competitors tackled a variety of high climbing walls, net crawls, tyre carries, river runs and mud climbs, before completing the race with a messy ‘paint dipper’ challenge which saw contestants diving into pits of flour, water and neon paint before taking on the 100ft slide.
Now in its second year, Tough Tribe was launched in 2017 by race directors Andy Brooks and Ruth Lynch, both experienced OCR racers who recognised the potential of the mixed terrain around Stockport to create a challenging course that made most of nature’s own obstacles.
Race director Andy Brooks said:
“After our first year, where many of the elite competitors told us it was the best event of the year, we wanted to make sure we made the course even better. We’re very lucky in that our location lends itself well to a challenging mix of obstacles for a truly unique OCR in what is becoming an increasingly busy events calendar.”
As well as elite and experienced OCR competitors, this year’s race also saw entrants of all levels aged 16 and up, from keen flat course runners looking for a new challenge to those that were brand new to the racing scene.
This year’s event also featured shorter family waves open to anyone from age 8 up – these shorter courses aimed to inspire the runners and OCR lovers of the future. Over 80 people took part in the family waves.
Competitors and their families were well rewarded after their race with all Tough Tribers invited to join in with food, drink and family events throughout the day in a dedicated race village.
“This year we wanted to open up the course to bring more people into the world of OCR. Our 4km Family Event was open to families and children from eight years of age and gave them chance to test themselves against all the major obstacles.
“This year’s event was all that we could have wished for and more. We’ve already had some great feedback from our experienced OCR competitors, with many telling us they’ll be signing up for next year’s event. Hopefully lots of our first time competitors will have well and truly caught the OCR bug too.”
Follow @ToughTribeOCR for more photos from the event.