Nuclear Races Rush Review

If the level of mud is an indicator of a good race, then Nuclear Rush would have to score top marks!

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I believe that a race without dirt and mud just does not quite feel as much of an accomplishment as the ones where you’re hardly recognisable in the finisher’s photo because of the mud smeared over your face and body!

The weekend of May 14-15 saw another epic course for Nuclear. There were too many obstacles to count and more people than I’ve ever seen in one place before. The atmosphere was electric as soon as you arrived with everyone scurrying about getting ready for there race.

It was a reasonably short walk from parking to registration, which was quick and easy and run smoothly. We were then shown where the free bag drop was located and left to roam the event village as we wished.

The village this year was even better than ever with bouncy castles and inflatable slides for the kids, as well as countless food vans (including Gym’s Kitchen for the healthy eaters), ice-cream, and the new live stream screen for The Deathslide.

The first people to approach the start line were the Oblivion runners who were taking on an unimaginable challenge of 48k (four 12k laps).

For each and every wave, there was a quick race briefing, a fun warm up, and then they were off, disappearing down a gentle slope and into the woodland to the sounds of cheers, whistles and cow bells. With waves set off in the same manner every 30 minutes, it became clear that this race was well organised and planned with prompt start times so every racer got optimum mud time!

We jogged down a gentle slope, scrambled over a collection of small hay bails, slid down a steep bank, and staggered into some woodland; the race had well and truly began.

This was my second Nuclear race, and I’ve done other’s too, and the one distinguishable feature at all Nuclear races is the atmosphere and the unique feeling of being apart of a big, dirty family. At each and every obstacle, no matter how small, there was always a hand outstretched before you to help you up, there was always someone (whether that be a marshal, racer or spectator) cheering you on.

The Video!!

The 6km course contained walls, The Back Scratcher: a net with water spouting over it where you use the net to pull yourself through while laying on your back, countless ditches to clamber though, Vertigo: a scarily high slatted wall which would scare even those with no fear of heights, the Sternum Checker: two levels of tree trunk and you jump from one up onto the other (which is chest height) and then roll over – I managed to land straight on my bum to the amusement of everyone around, and of course the famous Deathslide, with its new kicker on all lanes.

The obstacles were numerous and all very different. Each of them required different skills to overcome – some you had to climb, others weave, others you simply had to survive. Between the recognised obstacles, novice runners such as myself (although not much actual running happened) and also the more experience OCR lovers, had to tackle the elements. With low hanging branches, lots of thorny bushes, and of course lots of mud, it is inevitable that accidents happened. The mud had been churned up all weekend which meant that it was lovely and sticky, and I’m sure a few shoes got swallowed up by the mud.

My struggle with the mud was a continuous problem throughout the race, but I was pleased to notice I wasn’t the only one struggling to stay on my feet. Everyone was slipping and sliding around, and when someone did take a topple, there would always be someone around you to extend a helping hand and ask if you were okay.

After seeing the promising sign that we only had 1k to go, Nuclear starts to tease you just a little bit. You emerge from the forest to face obstacles such as the Spinning Monkey (monkey bar type things that spin slowly for you to catch the next one), and you’re in the event village so you begin thinking, “Yes, I’m done!” before they send you straight back into the trees.

It is an amazing feeling when you finally see the FINISH sign ahead and you’re on the final stretch. Running towards the finish line (possibly the only real running I did on the whole course) was an amazing feeling with spectators crowded cheering you on and all I could think of was the smell of the burger van.

After a long and tough race it felt like heaven to jump into the hot showers at the finish, before collecting my bag from the well-organised Bag Drop and heading to the heated changing area, with my cup of tea, medal, and Survivor t-shirt.

There was a slight manufacturing issue with some of the t-shirt, which had quite tight head-holes, but in true Nuclear fashion they are replacing any faulty t-shirts reported to them, so that everyone has a t-shirt to wear with pride. (All runners have received an email to the address they used to register with information on how to get your t-shirt replaced)

The event was brilliant, from start to finish. It was very well organised and the success is clearly down to the dedication of Race Director James Parrish, Events Coordinator Damian Williams and Penny Jackson in charge of Sales and Marketing, as well as the whole Nuclear Team, Angels, and Marshals. The atmosphere at the event was unbeatable – everyone was very friendly and it was lovely that while they must clearly have been very busy James, Damian and Penny were always happy to have a chat about nothing important, simply to ensure that everybody enjoyed their day racing and spectating. Nuclear Races are amazing events with an brilliant atmosphere that simply cannot be beaten and I look forward to racing with them again. #LOVEMUD