The Big BRO Race

Review by Rob Corless.

You never know quite what to expect when turning up to a new race on its opening event. Especially when a completely new concept is involved but the this one didn’t disappoint!

The Big BRO race (BRO standing for Bike, Run, Obstacle) was billed as ‘a triathlon with a difference’ and involved a 22km cycle on road the start with, followed by a 4km trail run and a 1km course packed with 25 obstacles to finish. 100% of the £45 entry fee was donated to Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s leading Beast Cancer charity.

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Nervously arriving in Barrow, I was greeted by a small but adequate setup with bike racks and plenty of obstacles. The registration tent was well organised with everything I needed in the race pack and a friendly good morning from the team.

Other people were beginning to arrive and it was clear the range of the 100 participants was vast.

It would be 3 waves setting off 10 minutes apart from one another. I was in wave 2. My bike was ready and I was all kitted up and rearing to go as I watched a very serious looking wave 1 set off from the road. We were then called up by megaphone for a friendly race briefing before heading out to the start line.

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A short wait later and we were off into a fairly hilly first few miles of the course. I was worried about finding my way round without getting lost but that was soon put to rest when on every turning there was a sign and a marshal cheering and directing us in the right way.

Legs burning I pushed hard on the peddles and before I knew it I had a cycling partner for the duration which made things go easier, no coasting rules in place here luckily! After the first half of the course it seemed to level out and I settled in to finish a well set out route in which all abilities could complete as fast or slow as they wanted.

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Coming back to the changeover point I dismounted my bike and was greeted by yet more marshals and supports giving everyone great encouragement. Racking the bike and heading back out over the timing mat for the run, I was about to find out this was to be the hardest bit.

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The 4k run, which was again very well marshalled, felt twice the distance with jelly legs from the ride. A downhill on road lead us to a farm track for 1k before a long hill to finish back at the transition zone where this time we were straight through and onto the 1km obstacles course.

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Everything from a hay bale pyramid to incline/ decline monkey bars, Cargo nets to water ditches, A rope climb and walls of 4, 8 and 10 feet. The rules stated that a adequate attempt must be made on obstacles or a 1 minute time penalty was given, to be served immediately on coarse. This was a gruelling last kilometre to finish but also good fun.

Awaiting me before the finish line was the ninja wall with two different heights. Picking the bigger of the two I was applauded as I reached the top on the second attempt and crossed the finish. I was rewarded with a well stocked goody bag including food, water a medal and cake!

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The chip timing could be viewed on a screen immediately and massages were also available.

This event gave out a really good vibe and atmosphere and I had a brilliant day all round. I will certainly be back next year after a very well organised, friendly good fun race and to top it off over £4000 was raised for the charity.

*Photos by Martin Grayling who is also donating all profit to the charity. http://www.martingrayling.com/

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Author: Chris Lamb Racing Diary

I am an endurance based athlete participating in events from 800m on the track to ultra trail marathons & obstacle course races. I like to test my strengths over the widest range of events possible at the highest level I can. You can follow me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/chrislambpjr

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