The weekend of the 16/17th saw the Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest race come to Edinburgh for the Scottish leg of this tri nation event. The race consisted of a roughly 10km course through the streets (and up the hills) of Edinburgh taking in manly challenges inbetween.

With 4 people racing from EUTri and many more working the event there was a good club presence. As we decided to enter the race fairly late on we only managed to get into wave 6 so did not start until the late morning.

The race started up on the Royal Mile within a sprint start over a series of haybails that did a good job of separating out the crowd before diving the steps of Fleshmarket Close. From here the course went under Waverley and then straight back up Jacob’s ladder to the top of Calton Hill where the challenging obstacles lied. First we had to climb through a Land Rover before completeing an army assault course.

Emerging from the Land Rover on top of Calton Hill. Photo: Paul Bateman

The course then dropped right back down again as we flew past the Scottish Parliament and into the park. Up the long hill towards Pollock I started overtaking people from the previous wave which was a great feeling. At the top of the hill was a waterslide to get us nice and muddy before heading to the Innocent Railway tunnel where a party awaited us, with disco ball and all!

The course then went back along the side of the park and onto Cowgate where we entered  the courtyard of C venues/Adam House. Here was a construction site maze with a rope to pull yourself up on at the end before climbing all the way to the top of Adam House before coming straight back down. A quick detour back up onto the Royal Mile saw the first major queue of the race as a big inflate obstacle course was waiting.

Heading back down onto the Cowgate and along to the Grassmarket and running through the confused tourists and locals alike were some platforms to jump over before coming round into Princes Street Gardens. Here were a few more tunnels to climb through before coming to the most gruelling part of the race, just meters from the finish. The infamous ‘Wall of Fame’ stood across the whole course and was surrounded by people watching on. This 8ft obstacle was designed to separate the men from the boys and provided the final hurdle (literally) before stumbling over the finish line.

In the end I completed the 10km course in 1:00.50 which I was really happy with. Without all the queuing I reckon I could have got it closer to 50mins which makes me wonder if the course was actually 10km because I’m not that quick, especially with all the obstacles!