Tania Rahman is a Visitor Services Assistant at the British Museum and is studying creative writing at Birkbeck. In her spare time she volunteers for Global Charities and Cancer Research UK. With this in mind we thought that Tania was pretty well placed to talk about how to juggle all these competing activities. Her first article for the lamp and owl describes her experience of taking part in last year’s Pretty Muddy event…
I had the opportunity to take part in Pretty Muddy in Finsbury Park, a 5km obstacle course introduced this year. Of course, like the original Race for Life, the series of events for cancer charity, participants can walk, jog or run it, and it’s for women only! That is the easy part. Finsbury Park is an uphill park which added yet another dimension.
The obstacles included: running or walking around traffic cones, climbing up and over a (thankfully) low climbing wall, and scrambling under a net through mud. It did wonders for my hair, and if you did not feel muddy and challenged enough you could run through a mud pit and get completely drenched in mud.
There were actually two nets on the course. I avoided the first one, but felt that I should at least try the second one. The net was a lot heavier than it looked and had been sitting in mud, which made it even heavier. A friend later questioned whether or not there was “anything else” in the mud, which I really did not want to think about, and another friend told me that people had told her how tough the course was. Of course being a Race for Life / Cancer Research event, it was really all about talking part and they did not mind if you skipped any obstacles as long as you “had a go”.
On the way to Finsbury Park I encountered a lot of women dressed in pink making their way there, and a lot of mud-drenched women on the way back (most of them wearing their medals).
Despite this being only my second year involved in the Race for Life, taking part in a charity sports challenge has always been on my “to do” list. I go jogging and to the gym to keep fit and lose weight (the usual goals) so training for Race for Life events helps me to aim for something else and makes sure that I keep up my training.
While I was still at school I took part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. The required hike was one of my favourite parts (but I found camping surprisingly tough) because it was something that I always wanted to do. Even now living and working in a city means that I have little opportunity to find activities like this and activity holidays can be expensive.
Tania will be following this article up with a series of articles as she prepares for the challenges that she is taking part in later this year.