Hardy runner tackles gruelling obstacle race

A HARDY runner has tackled what is billed as ‘the world’s toughest obstacle race’ along with thousands of other endurance athletes.

Claire Watson, who grew up in Letchworth GC and lived in Lower Stondon until earlier this year, ran the Fisherman’s Friend Strongman Run 2011 and completed the gruelling 19.6km course, set up over Germany’s famous Nurburgring, in 2 hours 44 minutes and 27 seconds.

The 27-year-old said: “It was amazing and so much fun.

“I have done a few obstacle races over here and they were nothing compared to this.

“It was great because we were like VIPs for the visit and got to go to the pasta party before competing, which is a pre-race party with beer but we had to take it easy because of the race.”

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Competing in the race as part of Team GB she ran with 10,941 other entrants from around the world.

Miss Watson said the international flavour added to the event.

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“I made friends with people as I went round there was one random Swedish guy, he was a bit crazy.”

The challenging course included tyre towers, water holes and giant stacks of hay bales as well as dense woodland and hilly terrain.

“There were things like monkey bars that were 10ft in the air and if you fell you’d end up in a big ditch,” she said.

“They were more fun than difficult. The hardest part was when you’re running the turns they make you go on the pebbles, it really sapped your energy.”

Despite the difficulty of the race, Miss Watson has already begun creating a calendar of obstacle events and has planned a reunion with her Team GB colleagues.

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