Over the years, Nuclear have established themselves as the premier independent OCR in the UK. They always have innovative obstacles, like the Essex Buoys, which are still trickier than they look (I favour using my knees rather than feet on them to get across), and a supersized helping of the gloopiest mud – I’m looking at you, Ebeneezer. Not wanting to rest on their laurels, they continue to evolve every single year. The obstacles have become bigger, more technical and the mud, although there is still plenty of it, feels less of an immediate focus.
And so, to Rush 2018: On arrival, parking was quick, easy, well marshalled, and best of all – free. I find it a bit of a bug bear to pay an extra fee to park when I go to a race, so I have always really appreciated this about Nuclear. Registration was sorted by race number, rather than name, which did have a number of people frantically checking their phones trying to work out which queue to join. I think this caused some confusion for the runners, though it was a minor issue. When you did get to the correct desk, the volunteers were swift and efficient in giving you your timing chip and wave band, permitting entry into the ever-growing Nuclear event village.
What was once two food trucks, toilets, and a merchandise stand has grown into what industry giants like Tough Mudder and Spartan should be trying to replicate; a village full of people from early morning ‘til late in the day, a huge variety of food and beverage stalls to keep everyone happy; (even vegans). There were also the two giant screens allowing people to watch the live action out on course, (which always commands a large crowd), and the comfy leather sofas that were quickly snapped up. With the Nuclear merchandise tent and Muddy Kit also present, the event village was complete, and I doubt there will be a better atmosphere at many events this year. A great new addition this year was the Tractor Bus for spectators; those there to support runners have always been able to walk out to various points on the course, but knowing when and where to go if it’s your first time can be confusing. The smart minds in the bunker have you covered, and now ferry spectators around key parts of the course at regular intervals – this was a great service.