COMMANDO CHALLENGE Woodbury Common, Devon.
The event has recently undergone a name change to “The Commando Challenge”. This reflects the the huge contribution given by the Royal Marines of the Commando Training Centre at Lympstone.The Marines manage and staff the course during the event, and give much needed moral support to all participants on their way under, over, through (& occasionally around) the obstacles!
This event is run twice a year for the public and can be a real challenge for some people. This is one of the assault courses that potential Royal Marine Commandos have to complete, so it is wise to have a good level of fitness before taking up this challenge.This is a fund raising event for pre-designated charities. Participants are charged a modest entry fee, and sponsor forms are available. There are events in the Spring and Autumn. I have only taken part in the latter, so can only tell you about that one.
The challenge is to cover a distance of around 11 kilometres. This entails a 5km assault course and a 6 km run home. It is a little like adventure racing. The assault course is made up mostly of tunnels with the odd chest deep muddy pool, lots of running between each obstacle and more mud! I suffer from Claustrophobia, so decided that this could be the perfect cure. The tunnels are all low and narrow and the only way to pass through them is on your hands and knees. They vary in length from around 10 metres to about 25 metres. When our team took part, there had been a lot of rain, so most of the tunnels contained varying levels of water, which added to the challenge. There is also a water tunnel.
This is only a couple of metres long, but is totally submerged in cold, dirty water. To get through this tunnel, you must have a team member at each end. One pushes you through by your feet and the other grabs hold and pulls you through by whatever they can find. It is too narrow to swim through, so it is all down to trust and teamwork. After the assault course it is time to run home. There are Royal Marine Instructors dotted all around the course, so you are in very safe hands.
If you fancy having a go, I can highly recommend it. It is a great way to challenge yourself and raise money.