The Major Series was “Action Fran’s” first ever muddy obstacle run in 2013 and since that day she’s never looked back, as her fitness, confidence and friendship group has grown and grown.
We caught up with Fran to find out just what it is about The Major Series, and similar races, that got her hooked:
The Major: When and how did you hear about the Royal British Legion Major Series?
It was in the spring of 2013. A friend in my gym said she was going to do the Major Series South in April and asked if I want to join her and her Dad. She had done one before and said they were really great fun. I was nervous at the idea, but had a look at the website and read a few of the reviews and decided that I wouldn’t know unless I tried! So I said yes, and signed up myself up for the full 10k.
I have now taken part in four Major Series events. Every one has got more exciting. The obstacles have got better, the atmosphere more vibrant and there are more and more people taking part. The event village is bigger and better than ever with more of a party feel which is a great way to catch up with the new friends you’ll make out on the course when they’re helping pull you out the mud! The tshirts and medals have got better and at the end of the race there are now more food and drink vendors… but one thing that never changes is the fun factor. Whether you are a first timer or a seasoned racer, it’s pure unadulterated fun!
I was a mix of nervous, excited, scared, happy and worried all at once. But as soon as we got there and I saw the hundreds of other people all looking like they were going through the same emotions, I realised we were all in it together and my nerves calmed and I began to get excited.
After the warm up, the adrenaline started to flow and the excitement started to get greater…and then we were off! Thousands of like-minded people all laughing, shouting and screaming – people I’d never met before all laughing with us!
The Major: What was your first Major Seires like?
The buzz and fun from the start line carried right the way through to the finish line. The obstacles were fun and achievable, and if people were struggling on them other runners would help. The atmosphere was like a party all the way round. People I’d never met before were introducing themselves and I was making new friends.
There was mud everywhere. So much mud and so much fun. The British Military Fitness (BMF) instructor’s who were marshalling the obstacles were so encouraging, so friendly and full of banter that added to the whole atmosphere. They were so supportive so there was never an obstacle I felt I couldn’t achieve.
The Major: That was the first of many obstacle course races (OCRs) for you. What was it that hooked you?
The Major: What is it about the social aspect that you love?
You meet so many people who come from all walks of life – rich, poor, little, large, fit, unfit – all with the common love of messing about in the mud .
You see them at events all over the country and communicate via Facebook – where you can also join groups and teams and feel part of something. No matter what your daily troubles or what life throws at you, when you get together in the mud it all just slides away.
The Major: What’s changed since you took part in the Major Series?
So much has changed. The Major got me to try British Military Fitness because the BMF marshalls were so brilliant around the course, and I now go to BMF 3 times a week.
I have also travelled all over the UK and even to different countries through my new-found love of OCR events and the friendship groups I’ve made as a result. It seems a great way of seeing new places that you might never have thought of going to.
I used to be very shy and unsure of myself, and have never had any self confidence. I would never have thought I could achieve half the things I’ve done.
I have lost weight, I’ve got so much fitter and gained a huge amount of confidence as a result of OCR. I now even drive hundreds of miles to events and go to training on my own where I would never have driven out of my town before.
The Major: What would you say to anyone thinking about taking part in the Royal British Legion Major Series?
Don’t think, just do it.
You won’t regret it, in fact you’ll probably get hooked!
They are a brilliant series of races that accommodate everybody. See you at the start line!