This is a guest post by Shokat Zaman, Fundraising Officer at the award-winning charity, Orphans in Need.
Straight after Eid on Sunday 27 September, Orphans in Need will be taking part in Insane Terrain Part II. As the title suggests, this follows on from Insane Terrain Part I, which I participated in back in April this year.
Participants have the option of choosing either the 5k or 10k runs. Opting to err on the side of caution, we chose the 5k run, which by the end of the race, proved to be plenty!
My experiences of that day are still fresh in my mind. We started the day with a lovely early morning drive heading up from London to Peterborough, past the lovely Cambridgeshire countryside, before being guided onto a grassy area, which served as a makeshift car park for the run. It was difficult not feel uneasy at the sight which greeted us as we left the car, which was a large group athletic looking guys crumble to their knees, panting for breath. We quickly walked past them after making sure they were alright, eager not to tamper our excitement at the prospect of overcoming this awesome challenge.
After being given a five-minute warm-up by a guy who bore a strong resemblance to the Drill Instructor from ‘Full Metal Jacket’, we made our way to the start line. The crowd who were there to watch us from the sidelines were a bright and cheerful bunch, quick to give their friends and family members taking part words of advice; “Have you warmed up properly, mate?”. “Pace yourself, don’t go running ahead of the pack from the start” said another.
The Orphans in Need crew came together in a huddle, giving ourselves a mini pep-talk before the start of the race. After a few brotherly hugs, we stood – arms akimbo- toes on the start line. As the horn sounded to signal the start of the run, many of us for whom this was a first experience, couldn’t help but smile through the first 100 metres.
After clambering up giant haystacks and wading through ankle deep streams of water which cut across the forest track, some of us made the decision to part company with the group. It was a pragmatic decision based upon careful consideration of the facts; we were tired!
The real sticking point came when our team members Mohammed and Hamza came across a big body of water stacked with a series of small sponge steps which we were expected to jump from one to the other without stopping, lest they fall into the water. After successfully navigating this particular challenge, Humza decided to pull Mohammed back and into the water. Mohammed was quick minded enough to pull Humza in with him, to hoots of laughter from all around.
By the time we reached the finishing line, having navigated our way through zip wires in the forest and balancing poles, we topped it off by sliding across a 30ft water slide being sprayed with fairy liquid. Yes we were tired, cold, wet and caked in mud, but we all felt we had achieved something that day. We pushed ourselves to the limit not because we had to, but because we chose to. In the end, it wasn’t tiredness that we felt, but an overwhelming sense of pride and satisfaction.
If you’d like to help me accomplish this daunting but rewarding challenge, please donate towards my sponsorship by visiting:
For further information or if you’d like to take part in our upcoming Insane Terrain challenge on 27 September 2015, please visit the Orphans in Need website. Free transport will be provided from London and Birmingham.