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Imperial Scotland Survive!
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Never an association to back down from a challenge, and only one short week after an excellent performance at the Imperial British Championships, 7 members of Imperial Scotland''s Queen Margaret University''s Taekwon-Do Club were facing their next challenge....the Men''s Health Survival of the Fittest.
 
For those who don''t know, the Survival of the Fittest event is a 10km adventure race that has obstacles placed at every kilometre. A true test of overall fitness, grit and determination.....or indomitable spirit and perseverance if you will.
 
The Scottish race took place around the streets of Edinburgh on a cold and luckily dry, Sunday 17th October. QMU Taekwon-Do, looking to stand out from the crowds (who wore the freely issued Survival of the Fittest T-Shirts) were sporting a new club polo-shirt designed by our own Mr Scott to promote Imperial Taekwon-Do locally.
 
This year''s obstacles ranged from a hay bale scramble, stair climbing, hills, an army assault course, a water slide, more stair climbing, a building site assault course, more hills, an inflatable assault course, a parkour zone and of course the infamous Men''s Health "Wall of Fame" - an 8ft wall directly before the finish line.........not the best thing to clamber over in front of the hundreds of watching spectators........
 
After experiencing the British Championships the week before, we shrugged and asked each other "How hard can it be if the obstacles can''t hit back?".........
 
All of QMU Taekwon-Do made sure they started in Wave 1 to ensure that the congestion experienced the previous year was avoided. The gun went off at 10am and we charged down the Royal Mile, somewhat resembling the "Running of the Bulls" in Pamplona..........probably making even more noise!!
 
The pace was fast right from the off, with some elite runners in the ranks this year striving for position.
 
Everyone made it over the hay bale scramble in one piece and chased the leaders to the next obstacle. The next obstacle was the stair climb at the intimidating Jacob''s Ladder. The climb was and absolute quad buster and the people who created the course were obviously laughing when they thought of the next obstacle after the stairs...........the famous Calton Hill!
 
Once at the top of Calton Hill, we then tackled an army assault course that would make most people weak at the knees! After clambering through, over and under the assault course it was back to the easy part...the running!
 
Next up for our team of Taekwon-Do warriors was the water slide, half-way up Arthur''s Seat. After a long and slow, off-road climb up the side of this extinct volcano some of us were glad to have a seat for a few seconds, even if the seat happened to take place whilst flying down the slide and getting a soaking downstairs!
 
Off we ran with our wet undergarments now clinging to us, but there was no rest for the Imperial Taekwon-Do entrants because we soon found ourselves running through the seemingly never ending pitch black Innocent Railway tunnel.
 
Once out in the open we were faced with navigating the Spider''s Web which was guaranteed to get one or two in a tangle!
 
From the Spider''s Web we made our way down to the Cowgate area where we crashed through the Men''s Health at Work Construction site before tackling the next set of steps. These set of steps were guaranteed to separate the men from the boys as they travelled all the way from the subterranean level of the Cowgate to the city level of Chambers Street.....after navigating our way up and then down the labyrinth of stairs it was back up to the Royal Mile to tackle the Inflatable Assault Course which resembled an extended bouncy castle!
 
It was then back down to the Cowgate (you''re getting the picture - there are lots of hills in Edinburgh!) and onto the Parkour Zone at the end of the Grass Market.
 
After leaping "gracefully" over the Parkour Zone, Imperial were on the home straight approaching the spectators awaiting our arrival in Princes Street Gardens. With one last obstacle before the wall, we were greeted with shouts of "Over or Under" meaning over the ramps or under them, through tunnels.
 
The sprint was on towards the make or break attempt at the Wall of Fame.....
 
I am pleased to report that each and everyone of the Imperial''s QMU Taekwon-Do Team SURVIVED and got over the wall in one attempt and in one piece!
 
Not only did they survive but they actually put in several strong performances on the day. I would like to say that author''s was one of them.....however.......
 
After Mr Scott beating me at the event by around 3minutes last year, to say I had taken my training on the lead up to the event seriously would be the biggest understatement anyone could make.  Running 3 times a week almost religiously for the past year in an effort not to be outdone by Mr Scott again, I was pretty confident. Setting PB after PB on my regular runs had that effect. It is fair to say my running was as good as it had ever been.
 
So, my plan was to lead from the front and that is what I did. Straight from the off I strode out in front of my club mates showing them how its done. Over the hay bales, down the steps, up the steps, up the hill, over the army assault course, a quick check behind me......nobody in sight...down the steps, up the hill, down the water slide...a quick check behind me....nobody in sight....through the tunnel...a quick check behind me...........OH NO...there HE is!!
 
At around 5.5km, Mr Scott cruised past me. I kept him in my sights until after the Mens Health At Work Assault Course in the Cowgate when he took off like a whippet up a set of never ending steps. My quads were done and the race between myself and Mr Scott was, I am afraid to say won...........by HIM.
 
AGAIN.
 
Overall, it was a really successful event for Imperial Scotland and with the following results:
 
QMU Position Overall Position Name                          Time
1st 178th Mr Scott 00:50:40
2nd 229th Chris Devine 00:52:03
3rd 318th Tommy Fallon 00:54:08
4th 402nd Struan Mackenzie 00:55:42
5th 1086th Donald Muir 01:07:30
6th 1579th Lynsey Hope 01:23:32
7th 1580th Kirsty Mackenzie 01:23:32
 
So, there it is folks. Another excellent and enjoyable event for QMU Taekwon-Do, with all of our pre-championship training (almost) paying off.
 
A massive thanks to Mr Vaughan, Liam, Kerry, Ruraidh, Isla, Julia, Sasha, Louise, Grace and Emma who all braved the Edinburgh cold to watch us and cheer us on.
 
Survival of the Fittest.........Well be back next year!!
 
Taekwon,
 
Chris Devine

Written by: Christopher Devine - 26th October 2010
[Comments: 2]

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Article Feedback:

Mark Skyrme ( UK ITF) : 1st November 2010, 10:10

Well done to all..
Donald Muir ( UK ITF) : 27th October 2010, 22:44
Michael Flaherty ( UK ITF) : 27th October 2010, 20:33

Very well done to you all..Great times. Something like this might be a good idea for all us Taekwon Do-ists, like a team challange!
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