Muddy battlefield challenge to boost legion funds

RBL Major Series
RBL Major Series

A keen member of British Military Fitness is to take on the challenge of a muddy battlefield.

Lindsay Murdoch, a tech director with building suppliers Travis Perkins, is taking part in The Royal British Legion Major Series which sees participants face a mud and obstacle race like no other.

Lindsay Murdoch, who is taking part in the RBL Major Series, with her husband John.

Lindsay Murdoch, who is taking part in the RBL Major Series, with her husband John.

Lindsay, who at 57 is 10 years older than her husband, John, says she is running the race to “even up the odds”.

She says BMF gave her “marvellous encouragement” to join the race, taking place at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire on March 12, and which has a strong military theme.

Lindsay, who has also recently returned from a trek along the Great Wall of China, will be among around 3,000 people wading through icy water, climbing hills and crawling through mud and woodland, all in aid of the RBL.

New for 2016, The Royal British Legion Major Series will feature a series of military themed obstacle zones as well as an enhanced event village. Participants will be given a top secret mission that will see them confronted with smoke, explosions, smells and sounds as they take on each obstacle zone along the 5km or 10km courses. The event will also officially launch the popular sports series’ 2016 programme, expected to attract more than 20,000 runners at seven events nationwide.

Alex Stanley, RBL Major Series race director

Alex Stanley, RBL Major Series race director

More than 50 per cent of those who sign up are first-timers and the event is both fun and family-friendly, according to Alex Stanley, race director of The Royal British Legion Major Series.

He said: “Our March 12 Midlands event will be accessible and ideal for all ages and abilities. Our runners are aged 17-70, and 55 per cent of people who take part are female. Anyone can take part.

“Our 5km course, with 15-20 obstacles, is ideal for entry-level first-timers and participants with a wide range of fitness levels. Our 10km course features 30+ obstacles and is a bigger challenge.

“Ragley Hall is a gem, a brand new and very exciting venue for us, a stunning 6,500-acre estate dating back to 1680. We’ve designed our course to make runners start and finish in the 300-metre-long Ragley Lake. They won’t be out of their depth and the fantastic spectator support will be what helps them get through the ice cold water.

“Runners will also have to overcome thick woodlands, dense forest trails, challenging hills and spectacular open terrain. It’ll be massive fun and there’ll be lots of water. Bring your water wings!”

As they cross the finish line, and complete their mission, runners will be welcomed into a bigger and better event village featuring a buzzing party atmosphere and entertainment for all the family.

The Royal British Legion Major Series, which also stages events in Kent, West Yorkshire and Stirlingshire, Scotland next year, is staged under the watchful eye of its Chief Officer in Charge, ’The Major’, a moustachioed, uniformed figurehead who supervises arrangements on event day, conducts warm-ups, then marches runners off to the start line to begin each wave.

The series is delivered by British Military Fitness, the provider of outdoor fitness classes. At each race, The Major’s hand-picked, 40-strong platoon of elite troops line the course to support runners with a smile, yells of encouragement, and a helping hand. These soldiers may be super-friendly, but they are also real-life, genuine military or ex-military personnel, all experienced and highly-trained servicemen and women. Their guiding, professional presence on the course is very special and represents a unique event feature, say the organisers.

The series has also just joined forces with Britain’s biggest Armed Forces charity, The Royal British Legion, who have signed up as the races’ official title sponsor and charity partner. Runners are being encouraged to raise £250,000 for the charity next year through fundraising.