Western Sydney University Hawkesbury Gym competed in the Tough Bloke/Tough Chick obstacle course race challenge on Saturday June 25.
The team, comprised of 15 gym members, staff and student competitors, travelled to Cataract Scout Park in Appin to take the ultimate test of strength and endurance. Competitors met the “brutally freezing conditions” thanks to the cold front hitting Sydney. Competitors were nervous; but once the race was underway, feelings turned to excitement.
“Everyone went into survival mode,” Hawkesbury Gym Sports Services Coordinator Craig Gibson said.
“The team split into two groups, and those two groups stuck together as a team should. Everyone made the effort to get each other through the tough conditions with help at each obstacle and words of encouragement along the way,” he said.
It was a hellish assault course with 28 obstacles over 8km of muddy, rocky and hilly terrain. There were thick mud trenches covered with barbed wire; icy cold water crossings covering 500m with water reaching up to elbow height; dark, claustrophobic concrete tunnels and a 15m rope traverse called ‘Hell’s Gate’ that gave even the toughest of blokes and chicks a nasty rope burn.
The most talked about obstacle of the event was the ‘Ice Bath’. A ladder elevated you in to a deep container of icy cold water. Competitors had to duck their heads underneath the water as there was wiring only centimetres above the surface. Competitors had limited room to gasp for air. Once out of the container, all of their body parts were numb, making it difficult to get back into running!
Every participant was met with a finisher’s medal, a Tough Bloke t-shirt, and a bottle of water and beer upon completion of the race.
A massive thank you to Paul Clarke for arranging the Hawkesbury Gym singlets with the words ‘Fitter, Faster, Stronger’ on the back. The race singlets really stood out and had other competitors and race officials commenting positively on them.
Hawkesbury Gym will be back next year, along with other obstacle course races (OCRs) such as Spartan Race and True Grit. If you’d like to join the team for the next OCR, keep an eye on our Facebook Page and this website.