SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST 2019: CARDIFF RACE REPORT
One thing is always guaranteed with Survival of the Fittest, from the start to the finish of the UK’s biggest adventure race series, you’ll be smiling throughout.
That’s because, not only do the people of Cardiff come out in their droves to cheer on Survivors (the Welsh are a friendly bunch), but you’re also spoilt with spectacular views along the waterfront of the idyllic Cardiff Bay and the tranquillity of the surrounding countryside. That is until the herds of Survivors come tearing along the route to tackle over 10 outrageously fun and equally challenging obstacles.
Going into the race, I was told the Cardiff course was a wet one (and not just because of the unpredictable weather). After the first few miles settling into the run, Survivors are strapped in with helmets and lifejackets before throwing themselves down the rapids at Cardiff International White Water Centre. The rapids humble even the elite runners, levelling the playing field as you’re forced to fight against the current to get clear of the water and back on with the race. That’s the appeal of the Cardiff course — you never know what’s around the corner.
Next, you go up into the hills. If the tough terrain of the countryside wasn't a hard enough challenge, the strongman-esque sandbag carries, balance beams and crawl under cargo ropes will certainly push your body into the red.
Once away from the hills – it does come to an end, trust us – Survivors expecting a leisurely run to the finish to collect a goodie bag are in for a shock.
The last few miles may be the most enjoyable, but they are also the toughest, as the as obstacles ramp up yet another gear. Once again, you'll find yourself dunked in water, swinging across ropes and darting over walls. The introduction of ‘the washing machine’, a giant pit full of suds makes for a lot of fun as Survivors emerge from the obstacle looking like they’ve just had a long soak. But, that couldn't be further from the truth.
After clambering overThe Sci-Mx wall, the infamous Drunken Monkey greets you – monkey bars consisting of awkward, upside-down beer kegs testing your grip strength to the max. These are a whole different ball game to Olympic rings or bars, as challengers have to negotiate around the barrels instead of straightforward swinging to safety.
Crossing the line in Cardiff, the sense of achievement you get from giving your best on the thrill-ride that is Survival Of The Fittest is a feeling you won’t forget any time soon.
The top male this year was Jason Burgees with a time of 00:52:36.
Video: Rat Race Dirty Weekend - All 200 obstacles in 5 minutes
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