Jon Albon and the Dirty Dozen Backyard Jam



It was a cold weekend in January when the elite of UK obstacle course racing found themselves gathered in the backyard of Dirty Dozen Racing’s Founder, Doug ‘The Beard’ Spence. The first ever Dirty Dozen Racing Backyard Jam was underway. 

, one of the UK’s leading OCR competitors, was there and in the following blog post tells us all about the excitement of competing against such a strong selection of UK obstacle course racing stars.

This weekend I travelled down to Doug Spence’s house to try my hand at his mini assault course in an invite only time trial format OCR.

The course was made up of ‘not your average obstacles’ proving much more difficult than a run of the mill OCR.  This posed as a different challenge than what I have been faced with previously and I was intrigued to see how I would fair, especially as it has been whispered I am more of a long distance ‘specialist’ and the estimated finishing time for this course was just 4 minutes.Though running is my strength, I have a fairly good strength to weight ratio and even though I am not the most flexible of people tenacity seems to propel me through obstacles pretty fast.

The hardest part of the course was the first stretch consisting of an inverted wall, monkey bars, pipe climb, balance beam, cliff hanger, and a rope traverse… this was the first 50m or so. From then on the obstacles were a little more spaced out consisting of a timber box structure to climb up and through, an inverted cargo net, tyre flip, timber A-frame, a series of walls and a caving ladder to finish.



Dirty Dozen Races’ Rope Traverse



The balance beam proved to be a dark horse of an obstacle (as usual), rendering most people’s first attempt (including mine) a failure. Instead of taking the 20 burpee forfeit, most chose to restart later in the day. One person who made the balance beam (and every other obstacle for that matter) look easy was the Mudstacle pull up competition winner Jason Brunnock. He was first up and set a blistering time of 3min 40sec, most exchanged looks of bewilderment at the swiftness he completed each obstacle – looking calm and smooth and not even like he was rushing onto the next.

I bailed my first attempt falling off the balance beam and felt I should wait to have another try. Adam Teszke however was given a 10 burpee forfeit for coming of the cliff-hanger but smashed through regardless to complete in an impressive 3min 47secs. Not knowing how to feel about the task at hand and wondering if I was capable of completing the course Burpeeless, let alone in a winning time, we tucked into lunch… chilli con carne and the best brownies ever tasted!



Dirty Dozen Races’ Tyre Flip



Dirty Dozen Races’ Cave Ladder


Slightly full I was up second after lunch and ready to get it over with. The balance beam and cliff-hanger had dried out considerably throughout the day and I managed a surprising 2min 47sec lap. This meant I moved into the lead and Jason had to counter…and counter he did, chopping a massive margin of his previous time coming in with a 2min 58sec. Still not good enough for first but an impressive display of strength and speed!

All ladies completed the course which is a massive achievement in itself but the fastest time was set in an impressive 8min 1sec by Fi Silk (also the Mudstacles female pull-up competition winner).

A fun day and a far cry from my Fan Dance challenge the weekend before, but just as satisfying to come away in first. My next challenge will be an 80km ice skating race from Uppsala to Stockholm in Sweden. Although I will be unable to race in the elite class without a licence I am looking forward to the challenge nonetheless. Check back for a blog on my experience in three weeks’ time!


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Pictures courtesy of Mudstacle

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