Two new obstacles made this year’s Commando Series our biggest and best course yet!
This year saw our fifth Commando Series obstacle endurance course take place in the stunning grounds of Hever Castle in Kent. The event returned over Remembrance Weekend (9th & 10th November) where over 2,000 competitors displayed true grit and determination as they tackled the 26 obstacles around our biggest and most challenging course to date.
The 6km course, or 12km for those choosing to do the two-lap toughie, is the only authentic replica course where participants get to experience the mud, sweat and tears of Royal Marines Commando training. The new recruits began their ‘training’ with a Marine led warm up like no other before setting off across the lake on a D-Day Landing Craft to head towards their first obstacle. Recruits could choose ‘just get me round’ where they would be motivated, encouraged and given tips on how to tackle the obstacles, or to be ‘treated like a commando’! With the option to add extra kit and take part in a 3hour-long survival course, or camp out in a bivouac, they really could immerse themselves fully in the world of Commando life.
A poignant part of the weekend every year is the Remembrance ceremony which took place in the ‘base camp’ event village. Vicar Hilary Morgan led the service along with Race Director Brian Adcock and, following a moving performance of ‘The Last Post’ by trumpeter Matt Rainsford, the resounding sound of a cannon marked the two-minute silence, respectfully observed by all throughout the Hever Estate.
With an additional two obstacles, the Commando Series course is now bigger and better than ever! Set against the perfect backdrop of the Hever grounds, ‘Swing for your life’ and ‘Walk the plank’ tested participants strength, balance and co-ordination.
Swing for your life is inspired by the oft-used operational tool Commandos use to make fast progress towards a target. It required participants to muster all their upper body power and tested arm and grip strength as they swung across a marl pit full of muddy water on a 10m rope. Release timing was key as lots of the soggier recruits discovered!
Royal Marines detachments used to form the boarding parties on naval ships being used to seize pirate vessels where it was commonplace to have to ‘walk the plank’. This obstacle called for agility and balance as participants made their way across a series of 8m-long see saws. The aim being…don’t fall off!
See both of the new obstacles here.
The weekend brought together families, work colleagues and sports teams who took on the challenging endurance course with real camaraderie and Commando spirit. Praised by participants as a tremendous success, the event has been rated 4.8 out of 5 starts on race review website RaceCheck.com.
Camilla Potter, a fitness influencer and fan of the Commando Series remarked that “I’ve run Commando three years on the trot and absolutely love how it’s got bigger and better every year. A great day out with family or friends, it’s a welcome change from a normal run. I especially loved the addition of the ‘swing for your life’ obstacle, none of my group succeeded at getting across gracefully but it did provide a good laugh. Excited for next year already!”
The event is set to return to Hever Castle on the 7th and 8th November 2020 for another Remembrance Weekend event.