Hiya… I have been posting about the Devil’s Circuit on fb for weeks now. The event was yesterday and I wanted to post about it while the memory is still fresh in my mind.
Devil’s Circuit is an obstacle race… don’t worry, its not as bad as it sounds. I, first heard about it from my neighbour. Her husband is very fit and had participated last year while she was a spectator. She told me how difficult it was and I thought; “Well, thats something I wouldn’t be interested in”. But recently a trainer at fitness first mentioned it in class and I thought about it. There were some people in class who had participated and told me its not that difficult… it is manageable and an awesome experience.
I decided to sign up and KC agreed to join me. Honestly, I wasn’t sure… I had this uncertain feeling and wanted to chicken out. But what was I supposed to tell KC? On the last day of the early bird offer I tried to book tickets on bookmyshow but their website threw up an error. It was fixed 2 days later but the offer was over. I decided not to enroll because this was just unfair. And then Devil’s Circuit contacted me on twitter (I had complained on twitter about the site not working) and offered me the discount. There was no backing out now and I booked the tickets.
We set out at 6 am from home for Wave City. The address mentioned Noida and Shipra Mall. I mis read the instructions and we reached Noida instead of Ghaziabad. Thankfully, we had left early and after a lot more driving we reached Wave City which is on the outskirts of Ghaziabad… closer to Meerut… and 60 km from my house. Whew!!!
There were 2 sections- competitive and non competitive. In the former, you have to cross every obstacle successfully and the one who finishes first get a Suunto watch. In the latter, you can skip a obstacle if you want and there is no timing. At 8.45 am off we went… KC went on ahead even though he was supposed to stay with me and I did not see him for atleast half of the course.
I don’t have the pictures yet and will write another post on the obstacles but below is a general idea:
– Jump over a pipe… remember those big pipes through which water/gutter water flows? Well, we had to jump over that. Very, very difficult. It took me 5 attempts and I scraped both my knees. I was so happy to cross it…. when…
– The next hurdle was jumping over a bigger pipe. I skipped this one.
– Then we jumped into a small pit where more pipes were kept but he had to cross through them which was easy peasy. And then had to climb/jump out of the pit. The pit was higher than me so it was a challenge. Thankfully, there were other participants who were helping out and a guy gave me his hand
– We then moved to 4 more such pits. The challenge was that these pits had water and very, very slippery mud inside. Everytime anyone tried to pull themselves up, either the stone they held onto for support came off or the feet slipped. Again, with help from others I crossed 2. The last 2 had a rope we would hold onto so that was more manageable.
– Then there were sticks fixed to the ground. They started with small sticks… then bigger sticks and then small sticks again. There was slippery mud stuck onto the sticks and we had to balance ourselves on them to cross the obstacle. I tried… fell off… tried again.. fell off again and realized that I need someone’s support for this. 2 people can hold hands and balance on each other to cross it. I asked the guy behind me for help and he was happy to give me support. Unfortunately, he had hurt his foot and was wearing floaters so he could not do this one. He gave me support for half the distance and then I managed to cross the rest on my own. Later I got to know this guy will be running the half marathon in Delhi (me too) and the full marathon in Mumbai (me too… except am doing half). And he is part of Boot Camp Yellow in Gurgaon which is an outdoor fitness group. Definitely going to check them out.
– There were 2 of these. We had to crawl under the barbed wire. One half had more water and the other half had more mud. The trick was to drag ourself in the water because that was easier. Mud is tricky.
– The next hurdle was climbing on the ropes to a certain height and sliding down a pole. This one was a lot of fun.
– The one after that was walking on slippery poles to cross a pit of water. I tried once… fell in… and so did everyone else. Thats when KC spotted me and came to help. He showed me the trick to cross the 2nd pole. I managed till half way and fell in again. He pulled me out again and I decided to skip the 3rd pit.
– Below was the most difficult one. I was planning to try this but then KC suggested I climb on top of the bars and just slide down. He and another guy (no dearth of chivalrous people) helped me up and I took the easy way out.
– Our next challenge was rope climbing. There were 4 different ropes at a height of 8 feet. We had to climb the rope and ring the bell hung on top. The 5th one had a ladder. I tried to climb the rope many, many times but couldn’t manage and decided to only do the ladder one which was also very tough.
– We then rushed to climb a structure created to give the feel of a mountain. Very manageable.
– The next hurdle was climbing ropes on one side and climbing down from the other side. Good fun.
– The 2nd last hurdle was crossing the pit of water by holding onto the wires. Initially the water was deep and it became shallow towards the end but letting go would mean getting immersed in muddy, dirty water.
– And in the last hurdle we had to jump into water with ice. This was actually refreshing.
All in all… it was good fun and am looking forward to doing it again in Gurgaon in March. The event happens in many cities- Noida/Ghaziabad, Hyderabad, London, Gurgaon and maybe Pune. I had seen Pune somewhere but its not mentioned on the website. In fact, I have started pushing my friends to do it in Gurgaon in March. Am thinking… DK and his wife, AB and his wife, KD, KC will be obviously be in. I need his help to complete the circuit… how many times can I shamelessly ask strangers for help? If DK is in… AB and the wives will not be a problem.
Do you need to be fit for this? It helps… but even if you are a couch potato… it is fun. Of course, right now I wouldn’t dream of participating in the competitive category because only the fittest of the fittest can complete each obstacle.
Actually, this would be a great date idea. It was DK’s b’day bash yesterday (more on that later) and he was telling me how adventure activities can be good dates. He brings out the bitch in me and I replied; “Isn’t it too late for dates ideas, considering you are married and all?” And his wife was sitting right next to me. THATs why I don’t get invited to more such parties.
What do you get after its over?
– A beer or red bull
– Muddy clothes. I had to wash the clothes twice to get all the mud out. Not wearing expensive sports wear was a good idea. We had to place towels on the car seats while driving back to prevent the seats from getting dirty. And we were in such a state that meeting anyone or stopping to eat was out of the question till we took a bath.
– Bruises… cuts… KC has a swollen knee while I cut my shin on the barbed wire and it was bleeding. Plus, lots of bruises on the knees
I hope they improve on certain things…
– In the 2nd half of the course the organizers just looked bored even though we were the 1st section in non competitive category and there were 6 more… photographers were missing and KC kept complaining on how they only want to click the women (true)
– No water points in the first half even though they were supposed to be there every km
– Unruly crowds of UP managed to sneak in despite all the security. Thank god, it will be in Gurgaon where something like this shouldn’t happen. Fingers crossed.
Despite all this, it is a very good initiative… something that India really needs. And I will definitely be part of it every year.
Even if I was alone… I would have had fun… what with so many people helping me out… and getting to meet like minded people. I feel very happy everytime I meet a runner. Its like a community… and we keep ‘running’ into each other.
Super excited about Airtel Half Marathon on 23rd November. Is it too early to start planning my outfit for the big day? I am even planning to get blue highlights (B Blunt temporary hair color) for the big day. I will be easier to spot in the photos. Maybe I should wait till my training is done.