MUD may not usually come to Bramham Park until the Leeds Festival in August – but a tough obstacle course saw competitors battle through rivers of the stuff.
They also had to dodge electric shocks, run through flames and scale a climbing wall during the Total Warrior event.
Around 6,000 hardy souls took on the hardcore obstacle course over the weekend, contending with fire, ice, water and of course, mud over a 10k route.
Designed by ex-military personnel, Total Warrior has been described by organisers as the “pinnacle of obstacle racing” and was being staged in Leeds for the first time.
Participants raced thousands of pounds for local and national charities – including Leeds-based children’s cancer charity Candlelighters.
They were supported by the 15-strong Joe’s Warriors team, who were inspired by young patient Joe Mayman.
He was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma just after his third birthday and after eight rounds of chemotherapy and a nine-hour surgery, moved into remission shortly before Christmas.
Team member Fiona Heald, 39 and from Leeds, said: “Joe’s our friend’s little boy and we were all running for him – we’ve raised about £2,500.
“It was great fun – especially the water slide, but the worst thing was all that mud.”
Fellow Joe’s Warrior Corinne Hunter, from Batley, added: “I was thinking of everything Joe went through while he fought cancer and that kept me going.
“The worst was the obstacle where you ran through wires that gave you electric shocks – I was scared of it. I touched it, went ‘that really hurts’ and ran round it!”
Another Leeds-based charity, Heart Research UK was supported by a team from Emerald Group Publishing firm in Bingley.
Participant Alex Williams, aged 28, from Saltaire, said: “There’s ten of us and we all made it around – the long slogs of running were hard but the best bit was getting all muddy and just getting in there.”
People from throughout Yorkshire and beyond took part in the event, including Katie Downing, from Chesterfield.
The 19-year-old, who was part of a team of 15 raising money for the British Heart Foundation, said: “It was very tiring but good fun. Trying to get up the last obstacle – a steep wall with a rope to pull you up – was the hardest bit.
“But the water slide was very good fun – especially head first!”
A total of 30 obstacles faced the participants at Bramham Park, which included scrambling up netting, crawling through tubing filled with mud and running carrying a log on their shoulders.
Participants could choose to support the events official charity partners – this year Help for Heroes, Great North Air Ambulance, Prostate Cancer UK and Cash for Kids – or a charity of their choice.
Another Total Warrior event takes place on August 2 and 3 in the Lake District. Log on to www.totalwarrior.co.uk for more information.