ATHLETICS: Mud racing in USA is no obstacle to Sleaford’s Gemma

Gemma Bristow needed a head for heights in the USA. UXzShP4rfGg05_lR3jPu
Gemma Bristow needed a head for heights in the USA. UXzShP4rfGg05_lR3jPu

Sleaford’s Gemma Bristow, part of the Total Mud Runners team of Total Sports and Supplements to competed in two obstacle runs in the USA.

The events see competitors race against each other, battling through large amounts of mud and wade, climb, jump, carry and pull themselves over a number of obstacles.

Gemma first took on the Gladiator Rock ’n’ Run 5km challenge in Texas, one of the biggest adventure race series in the USA, competing in the elite heat. Challenging and involving obstacles such as a 14ft rope climb and 8ft walls, she finished in overall second place whilst battling in 40 degree temperatures.

The next race entered was the Highlander 7 challenge in Florida, a heavy obstacle filled course over four miles of swamp land, mud, sand and river crossings which contained new obstacles such as pulling tyres out of lakes off a platform, more rope climbs, multiple walls, zip lines and a 15ft jump into open water.

Racing against one of the biggest pro teams in the States, she finished overall seventh with a first in age category to secure another podium finish.

Gemma started competing in Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) at the beginning of 2015, running for Total Mud Runners since June, and has achieved six podium positions in both the UK and the USA, with at least a top 10 finish in all other races nationally.

Gemma said: “It’s great being part of the Total Mud Runners team and being able to represent them in the UK and in the USA. OCR is accessible for anyone, from competitive athletes to people who want to try something different at the weekend and is hailed as one of the friendliest sports there is, with people always willing to help you over obstacles and get you around courses.

“I started off 2015 with a challenge to achieve 30 medals competing in different events around the UK and abroad by my 30th birthday, and never imagined at the end of the year I would be serious at OCR and running for a team.”

Trained by the Paul Jewiss Group in King’s Lynn the next challenge will see Gemma compete against the best in the UK at the British Championships in November. She also hopes to represent the UK at OCR World Games next year.