If it weren’t for someone telling me about this race in a comment, I would have never guessed it existed, but thankfully now I do and frankly, I am fascinated with the though of doing this event one day. I’m talking of course about the Bear Grylls Survival Race (BGSR), a mud run that takes place in London and has some of the most diverse mixes of challenges known to the mud run world.
For those who don’t know, Bear Grylls is a man who is best known as being a “survivor” in the wild. He has a show on national geographic where he’s dropped of (usually with a camera crew or celebrities) into various parts of the world where survival is difficult and teaches/shows you how to actually make it out of there, get to civilization and basically…not die.
Although Bear does have help when needed and puts on a good show, his real skill lies with the fact that he was in the British Special Forces prior to becoming a TV icon and that’s where he learned what he teaches people today.
Several year ago, he started a mud run event named after him which today has grown in popularity, but is so far unfortunately only hosted in London.
Basic info on the BGSR:
There are 3 versions of the BGSR that take place in the London area:
- A 5k run.
- A 10k run.
- An a very tough 30k run (8-9 miles) known as the “Ultimate Survivor”.
Depending on the level of difficult you choose to put yourself through, one of these 3 events will suite you well. Personally, I’d love to try the 30k run since I’ve done very tough events like the Spartan Beast before and would love to take it to the next level.
What I find most interesting about the BGSR events is the diversity and frequency of obstacles/challenges that you have to go through in each event, and from every mud run I’ve seen so far, this one by far has the most challenges in the event.
The 5k has 20 or more obstacles. No Tough Mudder, Spartan Race or any other mud run I’ve done has had this many in its 5k’s.
The 10k has 30+ obstacles which already is amazing. The Spartan Beast I did hardly crossed 20.
And finally, the 30k one has OVER a 100, something that to me, a man who has done many mud runs has never imagined possible, but has ALWAYS wanted to do because in my opinion, paying good money to run in the mud has to carry at least some fun times with challenges that actually challenge you and give you a good time.
Obstacles and “survival challenges”:
One of the things which makes the BGSR interesting is that in addition to some pretty creative and traditional mud run obstacles is that it also has add on challenges called “Survival Challenges”. In these, you have to basically complete a series of real life challenges that involve doing things like:
Carrying a heavy bag across a field like a soldier.
Starting a fire with natural resources like wood, flints, ect…
Possibly even bungee jumping which I assume is for the 30k challenge only.
Basically these challenges are a combination of things a solider may encounter on the field as well as challenges one may find themselves having to overcome if they are lost in the wilderness, stuff that Bear himself has had to do numerous times and I find that to be awesome!
What types of challenges can one expect on BGSR?
Besides the unique survival challenges above, you will have to cross some pretty typical mud run obstacles:
- Running through mud.
- Monkey bar climbs, or doing that on props that force to cross them like monkey bars.
- Hopping walls.
- Carrying heavy props/equipment.
- Scaling across ropes.
- And other types of challenges like these.
I’ve seen challenges like a Cargo net that you have to climb that’s twice as high as the one on the Spartan Race. I’ve seen them have to slide through a tube from the very top kind of like the ones you see on a playground, but FAR higher and way scarier.
What does one have to wear to the BGSR?
Frankly, nothing changes in terms of the advice I’d give someone who decides to do this mud run:
Wear one or more of these 10 things.
For shoes, I still fully recommend these. I’ve done various hikes and mud runs with this one pair and it’s still ready to go for my next event/hike. They are amazing.
How does one physically prepare for this event?
Honestly, it’s no different than readying yourself for a typical mud run (well a medium level one). If you can run long distances, are able to carry 20 or more pounds across 100 feet (40 meters) and are able to do physical challenges like pull ups, chin ups, sit ups, and have a strong core, you may find yourself more than ready to do the 5k version of this event. Here’s more training regiments that will help you.
For the 30k one, that will definitely require that you are MORE than fit to do this and also flexible.
How does BGSR compare to other mud runs?
It depends on which level of it you’re doing.
- I’d say the 5k is more of a beginner challenge.
- The 10k is certainly for intermediate level runners.
- And the 30k is without a doubt only for very fit/experienced athletes.
One more thing I have found to be awesome is the pricing. Tickets for each of these challenges vary at about 40-70 pounds which in dollars is about $70-$100, which is actually VERY cheap considering how some of the Spartan/Tough Mudder races here in the states are well above $100 and even beyond $200 if you don’t register early enough.
I think this is because the BGSR is still fairly new and when I visit London, I’ll try to do it, but if not, I hope they expand into other countries, including the states, because this is definitely a mud run I’d love to add to my list of completed runs.