I finished my first Tough Mudder last year and loved it, so when Call of the Beast organisers Dan and Luke generously offered me tickets to this year’s event, held last Saturday 8 November, I was excited to find out how Canberra’s own and original obstacle course race compared.
The verdict: Call of the Beast is the pleasant middle ground between Tough Mudder, a gruelling 20km+ course that includes electrocution, walking through fire and signing a death waiver; and Miss Muddy, a female-only course that’s less than 5km in length and counts foam as an obstacle.
There are several Call of the Beast race options depending on your fitness and whether you want to compete against others. My partner and I chose the 10km Fun Beast option, which wasn’t timed.
On the morning of the event, we’d allowed an extra 45 minutes to park, register, drop our bags and join the 40 or so other participants in our wave at the starting line, but the whole process took only a few minutes. Big tick.
Once we were underway, we climbed over cargo nets, swung from monkey bars, carried sandbags up hills, ran vertically up half pipes and crawled through a lot of mud. My favourite obstacle was climbing over an old mini van covered in carpet, closely followed by abseiling down a small incline using a rope. There were no ice baths, five-metre drops into murky water or underground tunnels half-filled with water. Another tick.
It was obvious that a lot of thought had gone into designing the course, which made the most of the natural terrain, including dried riverbeds, creeks and some very, very unforgiving hills. The obstacles were spread out to minimise long stretches of running and queues at some of the more challenging obstacles too.
Call of the Beast was more casual and less macho than similar obstacle course challenges I’ve completed, which is definitely a positive if you don’t like getting electrocuted for fun and can’t bench press double your own body weight. It’s also a good incentive to bring your kids along for some family friendly fun.
While Call of the Beast was challenging (and I have the bruises and scrapes to prove it!), the 8km and 10km courses are definitely achievable if you have a decent base level of fitness.
Would I do it again? Absolutely. The event was in a beautiful part of the world (Caloola Farm in Naas Valley, just south of Tharwa), less than a 30-minute drive from home and a good excuse to get outside and covered in mud in a relaxed atmosphere.
Well done to organisers Dan and Luke, and to the team of volunteers who helped make everything run smoothly on the day. I know I’m not the only one who’s keen to come back next year.
(Photo supplied by event organisers)