Marine Commando Obstacle Race completed – a brief run report.

Last Saturday, August 26, 2017, at 4:40 in the morning the Marine Commando Obstacle Race began. The first wave was the heaviest version of the race – History Hard Run. In that kind of formula each participant was running in full field uniform with additional load in the backpack – 5kg, Polish Army helmet and AK-47 rifle. The shoes allowed by the organizers were far from running shoes – it was possible to run only in tactical and military boots. The first contact of clothes and shoes with water led to the fact that each of us was loaded with about 20 kilograms of excess baggage (wet clothes and shoes, helmet, backpack, supply of drinking water, rifle). I took part in it with the companions: Slawek, Konrad and Lukasz.

Marine Commando Obstacle Race - Konrad, Leszek (myself), Sławek and Łukasz
Marine Commando Obstacle Race – Konrad, Leszek (myself), Sławek and Łukasz

But from the beginning

Before leaving hotel
Before leaving hotel

Konrad and me left Warsaw quite late, and to the coast we arrived just before 22:00. W planned wake up at 02:00am. At 3:30am we received our starter packs, helmets, ballast and rifles. We were ready to go to the beach where the event was to begin.

At 4:30 pm the organizer’s check-in started.

At 4:40 am we started. In our wave was a total of 109 people. We started running. Immediately after the start appeared lot of explosion, bursts of firecrackers, and the sky began to light up the fires fired.

Just before start to Marine Commando Obstacle Race (picture made by Kolibki Adventure Park)
Just before start to Marine Commando Obstacle Race (picture made by Kolibki Adventure Park)

After several hundred meters we reached the first obstacle – pad to the ground and crawling, then another obstacle to fall – go under the obstacle, get up – cross over the obstacle. Then climbing on next constructions. After crossing the sloping wall, passing 3 meters above the ground on a thin beam, another stage of the run began. After picking up the team, we went on.

River runners in BMK

River runners in BMK

Sunrise

Behind the pier we began the first run up the hill. Before we entered the forest we passed an old, devastated sanatorium – a scenography like in a good war film. Then we descent, and back to the beach by the river, crossing again under the pier, and then we were already running on tarmac along the coast. A line of trees separated us from the beach. After a while we were greeted by the sunrise – an amazing phenomenon!

Sunrise in BMK
Sunrise in BMK
Sunrise in BMK
Sunrise in BMK

After a few kilometers of cross-country run, we met another obstacle. This time large diameter plastic rolls, which we had to overcome the top. Jumping on it was quite difficult with given load. And the first bruises were created – I covered the inner part of my. And then we passed hills of sand, dug ditches of water and mud, from which it was difficult to get out. Next obstacles were trenches, wire bundles and crawling up the grid.

Then again the forest section and exit to some farm. There again was a crossing through the dug pits in the choking smoke from the nearby large fireplace.

storm sewers

After about 11 kilometers and 2.5 hours of running we reached the storm sewers, which, as it turned out, dragged themselves under the city. Fortunately, in my equipment I had knee pads – skate pads – which effectively protected my knees. The first channel had a diameter of about 1 meter. I crossed it on my knees. The rifle and backpack with a load did not help at all. After a few tens of meters we went into another channel, then another, which was about 60 centimeters in diameter – the longest and worst channel.

Briefly, in the channels of which the total length was about 400 meters, muddy smelly water was flowing – actually precipitation, and it was completely dark. After we left, we ran on … to make a second loop.

Second loop

We had a question in our heads whether there would be those channels in the second loop. Fortunately, someone who was a veteran of this event told us that the channels only pass once – wow.

On the second loop, one of the obstacles where we had to crawl was modified. The organizers connected the electricity. Slawek was the first. He started to crawl and suddenly crack – he was kicked by the electricity – ups – no jokes. I crawled under the wire, raised my head uneasily, and touched the electric cord by helmet. I heard it in my ears, and a strong electric pulse came through the back of my neck and hands – really nothing nice.

Crowling under electric wiresCrowling under electric wires

It is not finish yet

After making the second loop our distance was already 21 kilometers – where is the finish? As we have seen, the final track of the obstacle course – the very difficult track prepared by the Kolibki Adventure Park – separated us from the finish line.

Mud river in BMKAC
Mud river in BMKAC

Kolibki Adventure Park

The first obstacles were still ok until we reached the ditches filled with mud. Over the ditches were beams and railway sleepers, which forced us to completely submerged the slime. Splashed – after three similar ditches there were further obstacles until we reached the very center of the event. The water jail was another heavy impediment. A muddy liquid covered with a lattice top. There was a few centimeters between the grid and the surface of the slime. My face was flooded with mud because of helmet. Not easy. The mud flooded my eyes first and then poured into my nose.

 

Cleaning my face in one of the container in BMK (picture made by Kolibki Adventure Park)
Cleaning my face in one of the container in BMK (picture made by Kolibki Adventure Park)

Two containers vertically stacked were the next obstacles. Upon entering the first I used a clean water rinse to rinse my face. It was used to add water to the container. Then it was up – or rather uphill – the entrance to the tower, from which it was necessary to slide down the thin tube. I will not exchange any surprises that have forced us to crawl, eg under the tank, climbing, down the rope and walking on all the way in the underground tube, climbing the walls, etc. There were obstacles known from Runmageddon: “This one” – rope suspended between the banks of the lake, which I had overcome hanging on my arms and legs, and the birth – only the tires under which we had to squeeze were partially sunk in the mud.

The slider

The last obstacle was the slider. Incredibly steep – I never pulled something out of it. Konrad drove first – took off his helmet and lay down on the slide. He started to fall into the water with great speed. Another person was Slawek. He was down at the bottom with a huge impetus. Id looed like someone before him fired him from a big cannon. At the end was my turn. After a moment’s loss of orientation I started on the run to the finish line.

Marine Commando Obstacle Race completed (picture made by Kolibki Adventure Park)
Marine Commando Obstacle Race completed (picture made by Kolibki Adventure Park)

Marine Commando Obstacle Race completed

The Marine Commando Obstacle Race, as they say, is the hardest obstacle course in Poland. It was actually the heaviest gear I’ve ever attended. For what? Because of the load we were wearing like water-soaked boots and uniforms, a backpack, a helmet, a rifle and extra drinking water.

In my opinion, I was very well prepared for my debut at this event. Marathon training and running in the woods in uniform and heavy shoes, trainings with the Personal Trainer (thanks to Paweł !!) and training with the Spartan Group of SRTG Warsaw (thanks to Kamil) gave the intended effect. I was tired. But the in the next day I would be ready to run this route again. I officially took 66th place for 109 starters – at 6 hours 28 minutes. To achieve better time, there is definitely no experience with such a specific event – in a year I will definitely be ready and finish the course in a much shorter time.

Summary

In conclusion organizers made very good job. They prepared the whole event very well!!

I encourage you to comment. I’m curious who of you would go to such a survival next year. I will do – for sure !!

And last Saturday evening there was another event, this time the BMW Half Marathon in Warsaw. I will make a short report in another article.

Best regards!

Leszek

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