Survival of the fittest

Joseph Bulmer

NOT bad for two guys nearly in their 40s!

Bideford-based personal trainer Simon de Burgh and window cleaner Calvin Leach were overall winners of the team event of the 2010 Men’s Health Survival of The Fittest TRI Nations series.

They raced on three consecutive weekends in events which were a mix of rough obstacles, long stretches of running and, in some cases, swimming.

Their first race was in Cardiff, a 14k run around Cardiff Bay over and through Army assault courses, up and down half the Millennium Stadium staircase and finally up the eight-foot wall of fame towering between them and the finish line. They came third in the team event.

Nottingham was their next challenge. This was 11k on and a flat, fast, course. Hay bales at the start were much bigger. The course was quick with a blistering pace of 1km every four minutes and the dirty weekend started by crawling through muddy cargo nets and sliding into breathtaking cold water in the swim zone section, running through the rugby club staircase and down a long stretch of the riverside. The Land Rover obstacle was taken in their stride and then another long run to the eight feet wall of fame and a first place finish.

Their final event was in Edinburgh, with a tough test through the capital’s steep, cobbled streets. Down the royal mile and through the tight alley ways, up the steep steps of Jacobs Ladder to the top of Carlton Hill. Then the dramatic highs and lows of the obstacle zone and descent back into Edinburgh. Up close to Arthur’s Seat and back into the old town through the underground streets, up and down a scaffold house before heading back to Princess Street gardens and hauling themselves over the wall of fame to finish fourth.