On Sunday, October 17, Bruce Raeside - a Scottish international middle distance runner from Nottingham - won the Edinburgh Men's Health Survival of the Fittest, a 10K assault course through the city centre, in a lightning speed time of 00:37:59. This completed his hat trick of wins at the three Survival of the Fittest races in Cardiff, Nottingham and Edinburgh; brought to the cities by Rat Race Events, the team behind the hugely popular annual Edinburgh Rat Race urban adventure race.
Racing as solo competitors from a series of dramatic massed starts on the Royal Mile, over 1700 seasoned runners and rookie racers completed the tough 10K run, up, over, down and round the Old Town; over Calton Hill and through Holyrood Park and the Grassmarket, with more than ten unforgiving but engaging obstacle zones and challenging features en route.
A win in the Scottish Capital was particularly sweet for Raeside, not only because he had narrowly missed out on competing for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi due to an injury; but also because he had a lot of support from his Scottish family members.
After his win, he said, 'With my Scottish routes and Scottish family support today, it feels like a real home win. It is a big relief to finally complete all three Men's Health Survival of the Fittest events in one piece. As for winning all three; well, when I first signed up for the tri-nation series I hadn't a clue what I was letting myself in for, as adventure running was something I'd never even done before! It was a fantastic experience and winning was a real bonus.'
Nicola Duncan was the first female to complete the 10km course in 00:46:41.
Participants faced some staple 'Survival' classics such as the colossal hay bale wall (less than 100 metres from the start), the Army Assault Course and the Urban Jungle on Calton Hill. They also had to cope with the muscle burning Jacob's Ladder Climb, a gruelling and energy sapping stair climb from Calton Road to Calton Hill, as well as a fun water slide and a giant inflatable assault course. Also standing between entrants and the success of crossing the finish line, was the final obstacle, the infamous Men's Health 'Wall of Fame' - a sheer eight-foot high construction, which competitors have to scale before they can call themselves a true Survivor!
The Men's Health Survival of the Fittest events, which were part of a tri-nation series - Cardiff (October 3), Nottingham October 9) and Edinburgh (October 17), have been staged by the world's best-selling men's lifestyle magazine, Men's Health, in conjunction with Rat Race Events and sponsored by Land Rover. Other event partners include Under Armour, For Goodness Shakes and Iceni Water.
The inventive format was successfully staged in Edinburgh for the first time last year to a sell-out field of 1500 runners. Full Results from the 2010 event can be found here.