This was the first time for another new sporting event in West Cumbria - The St. Bees Beach Bash. What we have here is basically an nice jog along St. Bees beach in the sunshine ruined/enhanced (delete as appropriate) by a series of tortuous obstacles.
To make sure the competitors were warmed up the first task was to run several hundred metres to the sea to put ones head in the water - just in case anyone had done their hair especially for the occasion.
Then before the real race began a special boot camp had to be completed. This involved a circuit of one minute gym style exercises. Starting with the kettle bells - anyone who does these every week at Whitehaven sports centre would breeze through this - everyone else must have started to wonder what they had let themselves in for.
They would certainly know when they got to the next station which was the hydro-bags - padded log-like weights full of water.
Next was lifting medicine balls above the head and splashing them back into the sand as many times as possible within the minute.
Another good way to fatigue the arms, shoulders and back was to keep these heavy ropes moving - demonstrated with deceptive ease by members of the Team Xtreme, from the Xtreme Fitness centre at Lillyhall, who where there to instruct and encourage the participants.
Then there was a minute of 10 metre sprints with press-ups which had to go right down into the wet sand and back to the start with a reverse run.
Another sport not likely to take off was beach skiing - well that was the title of this particular trial which was a kind of synchronised tandem plank-boot walk in wet sticky sand.
This is where the running really started with a jog down to the south end of the beach. Here there were several more hurdles and other obstacles for the competitors to struggle with - but too far away for this humble photographer to record without getting as out of breath as the participants.
After climbing the steps up to the promenade and up the hill towards the all too tempting Hartley's ice cream shop they had to slide right back down again in any way that took their fancy.
Another standard hurdle had to be straddled for the majority who had no energy left to leap it in a single bound.
An uncomfortably narrow tunnel fabricated from tyres was there to sap the last bit of energy before a final run up the hill towards the finish.
A cage full of inflatable balls and rings with a net tunnel meant they were back on all fours again in the penultimate obstacle.
And finally... a slippery ramp to run up with jelly legs and arms too weak to pull rest of the body the up the final metre...
... but there was always a helping hand or two from the stewards and other competitors.
At last the finish line and the camaraderie of going through hell together and the "I'm never doing that again" and the "oh go on - let's do it again next year".
You can view this video on YouTube to see it fullscreen in HD
© WAWL 2013
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