Muscle Acre is based in Guildford, Surrey and is headed up by Kev and Andrew. Kev comes from a Royal Marine background whilst Andrew works on the adjoining land with his family. Their ‘Winter Warmer’ was their 8th run and it was a very frosty start indeed. They have recently boasted becoming OCRA UK affiliated and part of the community league.
They offer a range of different races, catering for kids, 5k, 10k and a daring 20k.
Sign Up, Price & Info:
The website is really easy to navigate and contains plenty of information. There is no post code given on the site but it is sent to you once you have booked onto a race. The reason for this is because the land is private; they didn’t want just anybody turning up throughout the year.
Prices start as little as £36.50 and go up to £60 for on the day prices for a 20k, which I think is amazing value for money! Why? Well because of everything that includes; car parking was FREE, bag drop was FREE, FREE hot chocolate, FREE beer, FREE banana, a Muscle Acre hat, timing and more!
I felt that the terrain was very flat and very monotonous. Personally, I can’t stand running but then our competition winner, Roxane had said that she liked it being running heavy because it was where she could make up time and place a higher overall position. If you are good at running or enjoy it, then this one’s great for you.
They did make good use of the small amount of hills by making runners’ slalom with some obstacles in between.
Not much mud at all but then everywhere was frozen so what would you expect? They usually make use of a wooded area and marsh lands which they call ‘the wilderness’ but due to the ice being so thick (they couldn’t break it) they made the sensible decision to close that part of the course.
I think during warmer months, their trenches would be good and offer some muddy fun.
There are no real ‘amazing’ obstacles on their 5k race although they do offer a fantastic range from crawls, wall, climbs and a sternum checker. If you are running anything more than the 5k the obstacles certainly step it up a gear or two. They introduce much more technically challenging obstacles such as a rope climb and a rig.
(Steven on his invisible chair)
I loved the fact that almost all of their obstacles cater for any type of runner from a newbie to a seasoned runner. For example; there was an apex wall that had three different options. 1. The left hand side had small batons across with a rope 2. The middle had just a rope 3. The right hand side was just the wall. They also had similar for monkey bars… finally! I was ecstatic to finally find a race that had monkey bars that catered for everyone from tall men that glide across to short arses like myself who don’t have the arm span of an orang-utan.
Many of the obstacles were not flash ones that have cost thousands to make but all of them have been made to a fantastic standard and let’s be honest: That’s what matters.
The trenches that we went through were absolutely FREEZING! It was easily the coldest water I have ever been through, with the ice being about 2-3 inches thick.
The difficulty I have in rating these obstacles is that prior to having our daughter, I was running a minimum 10k race with much more demanding obstacles. I will however say that for someone who has not done many or perhaps doesn’t have the best fitness currently; the obstacles of the 5k were perfect. They were challenging enough but still fun. I will be looking forward to running the 10k race once my fitness has improved so that I can see the difference in difficulty between the two.
Steven and the RD, Andrew said it was a shame that I couldn’t currently do the 10k as they both agreed that it offers so much more to runners. I have marked this a 8 because I found that some obstacles very quite repetitive and a bit boring – one involved climbing over crowd barriers.
I love that Muscle Acre has something for everyone. Well done.
The medal was great. This year was a new medal and they change their ribbon for each event but I found that they didn’t have distances on so even though I did 5k and Steven did 10k, we both got the same medal.
At the end of the race we got given a cold can of Fosters, a hot chocolate, a finisher’s photo and a goody bag which included a Cliff bar and some funky tablets. It was excellent value for money.
The only thing that let it down was not having the distances on the medals but I understand that this isn’t cost effective.
Event Village and Atmosphere:
For a small race, they had a good event village. There were no merchandise stalls and nothing enticing but they had great MC’s and music. They also had metal drums fires so we could warm up and heated changing rooms. I will say on a small note that although they were advertised as heated, this consisted of one very small electric heater and plenty of the women I spoke to said they were really looking forward to a heated changing room but were left a bit disappointed.
There was a burger van and plenty of well stocked toilets on site and everything was really easy to get to. It soon became deserted once runners’ had finished which left the event village feeling a bit eerie but this is to do with the weather, not the race itself. I am sure that they would have more going on if it was warmer. Nobody likes hanging around in the cold.
All of the runners that I had spoken with, from 1st timers to pros’ said that the marshals’ were outstanding and I couldn’t agree more.
Excellent value for money
FREE bag drop
Well built obstacles
Give participants discounts for future race
Obstacles cater for every fitness level and take into consideration different height/build of runners
Minimal event village (understandable in these weather conditions)
It’s taken me a few days to produce this review because i have really found it difficult. Whilst this ocr has scored highly in the categories, it’s just not one that i have felt excited about, it isn’t one that I have happily boasted about for 3 days after the event either ( like i usually do). This is not due to the race. Being totally honest with you all, it’s down to me. If i would have done the 10k then I am confident that I would have been shouting about it to anyone who would listen. The course, the team at Muscle Acre, the obstacles and everything else in between was fantastic. Overall this is a really good race. It’s one of the best value for money races and I’ve not come across a race that properly caters for such a vast amount of abilities, body shapes and sizes.
Overall rating: 9/10
Published by Keren – Mudd Matters
*Pictures courtesy of The Muscle Acre and R and R Photography*