Four of Halstead Road Runners newest members took on the Winter Nuts Challenge over the weekend. Winter Nuts is an Obstacle Course Race based in Surrey, with a reputation for being one of the most brutal and gruelling races out there. The four members have been keen OCR participants for a while now, and joined HRR to improve on their running and take part in our cross country leagues.

The ‘Beast of the East’ had hit hard leading up to the weekend, resulting in an ice filled, frozen mud fest. Mat Hutley raced on the Saturday. He took part in a mudstacle sprint lap, which was one 7km loop. A superb example of sprint racing and obstacle navigation, saw Mat finish 2nd overall in a very competitive field.

Anna Bambridge, Lauren Hutley and Gavin Ripton all raced on the Sunday. Anna had her hopes set on finishing four laps, after finishing three laps in 2017. Her hard work, extra training and an excellent season of cross country running paid off and she completed her four laps, a total of 28km and finished as 5th female. Lauren sustained an injury whilst competing, but battled through the pain to complete three of the 7km laps, finishing as 10th female.

Gavin was racing in the inaugural Limitless event, attempting to finish as many laps as possible within a time limit. Ripton overtook the first place runner on the 4th lap and managed to hold onto first position until the end of the race, being one of only two people to complete five laps. He ran a total of 35km across mud, through freezing water, ice and countless obstacles. This outstanding performance has gained him qualification into the OCR World and European Championships, alongside Mat who qualified at a previous event.

All four would like to thank all of the people who were there to support them on the day including their excellent transition crews who helped to feed and fix them. OCR is the fastest growing, mass participation sport in the UK currently. For more information on this event, take a look at