Survival of the Fittest 2013 🗓

Scheduled Events

On 16 November 2013, Will Bucknell, Bryan Wilson (one of JHHHT’s most committed supporters), Nick Hayday, Andrew Lindsay,Tony Pack, Ross Burt, Dan Navratil, Stuart Jordan, Dennis Ritsema and Brian Pappas took part in the Men’s health “Survival of the Fittest” at Battersea Power Station.

All the team successfully got round in one piece on the cold, sunny day. The team raised a fantastic £4,500. A huge thanks to the team and to all the supporters who braved the cold.

Bryan Wilson’s reported:

“Dear All

First can I say a big thank you to those of you who have once again been kind enough to make a donation to the JHHHT Charity for the run And also to Will for getting us involved in this as early as last January.

I am pleased to say that the entire team managed to finish the run…not exactly all together….but more of that later.

So, as usual, I will give you a little run down of the events leading up to the big day on Saturday.

Those of us not living in London flew over Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday. Some members even found time to do a bit of shopping for business attire and have now returned to Prague several kilos of baggage heavier and looking dapper with it!

Friday afternoon/very early evening started slowly with myself, Dan Navratil, Martin Bendik (late withdrawal from the running due to dislocation of the shoulder in August but still a willing participant in the build-up and post-run activities) and Stuart Jordan in the hotel bar, hungry, but as usual, waiting for Mr Bucknell (of the Reading Bucknells). Obviously, whilst waiting we managed to imbibe a few libations.

Then the excitement began. Will arrived with Dennis (the delay this time was not Will’s fault so apologies for our harsh texts to you!) and after a quick bag drop we ventured out into the relatively chilly Chelsea air for a ‘short’ walk to Fulham Road and a bite to eat. 20 minutes later we hit the hustle and bustle of the Fulham Road and in true male group style, could not decide where we were going to eat. We were under a lot of time pressure as the England v Chile game was due to start in about an hour. Will was pushing for pasta, the rest of the group for some sort of meat feast. After sending Will off to check restaurants, we duly booked ourselves into Bodean’s ( that we had all been salivating over and sat waiting for him. 10 mins later Will came back having booked us in a nice little Italian down the road. Needless to say, we remained where we were – not least because after the barrage of American Ice Hockey, they were actually showing the England football game.

We then ordered and collectively ate what seemed like half a pig, half a cow and a few chickens (and 80g of pasta that Will had off the menu). Anyone who is a meat lover should visit the restaurant.

Anyway, after the truly healthy meat fest and a few more beers we ventured out of the restaurant into the ‘trendy’ Elk Bar where, at the age of 43, I was asked to show some ID to get in! Football was still on and we miserably watched the second half and the further demise of England. However, with eager anticipation, we walked back to the hotel and by 10.30pm were all in our rooms eagerly anticipating the England v New Zealand rugby match the next day and thoroughly dreading the run.

Saturday morning greeted us with sunshine, a full English for some of us and nervous excitement. We arrived at Battersea Power Station at about 11am, signed our lives away by way of death disclaimer forms, dropped our bags off, emptied our bladders and in no time at all it was 11.50am and our ‘wave’ of competitors was setting off at 12pm.

Each wave had about 300 -400 people in it (we were wave 13) and clever guys that we were, we waited until the melee had died down over the first obstacle (large bales of hay) and set off (all together). A bit of a run and a few more obstacles later (7 foot walls, monkey bars, scaffolding, a maze etc.) and the team was a bit strung out. Stuart, Ian, Russ and Nick proudly pulling away from the rest (and finishing the entire course in an impressive 1 hour 7 minutes).

A bit more jogging then a few more obstacles and disaster struck – somewhere around 1.5km the old war wound raised its ugly head. The shrapnel in my left knee had clearly become dislodged whilst negotiating an articulated lorry trailer and climbing through a Renault Clio and suddenly there was limited movement and constant pain. The next few km’s running through Battersea Park was tough.

At this point I have say a BIG THANK YOU to Will, Dan and especially Tony (bro in-law) and Andrew (best Uni mate, Scouser (thief) and one of my best mates) who stuck with me for most of the rest of the 8.5km, keeping me going with appropriate words of encouragement and energy tablets and helping me over, under and through many more obstacles. For anyone thinking of doing the run…it’s the last 20 mins of obstacles that kill you. Freezing skips of water, energy sapping rat tunnels, more constructions to climb over, tyres to get through, steep ramps to scale, mud to crawl through and finally an 8 foot vertical wall to get over whilst you are soaking wet and tired.

Simple fact of the day – without the vocal support of my family, Nick’s wife, son and in-laws, Ian’s family, Martin, Zuzka and others and the physical support of the rest of the team, I would not have made it on Saturday to the end. My knee is currently the size of a grapefruit and extremely painful. BUT WE ALL FINISHED (although once again, how the woman in the tutu managed to finish ahead of me is a mystery).

The rest of the day involved, beers, chat, watching the rugby, watching darts, another trip to Bodean’s(!!!) and the Elk Bar (where Stuart cut some devastating shapes on the dance floor to various 80’s floor fillers) then back to the hotel – all before 1am.

Sunday was brunch with Nick and his wife Katie and his smashing little lad Barnaby who had us laughing and learning the full range of Star Wars characters and chasing him on his little scooter through Brompton cemetery – we met up with Stu, visited Chelsea football Stadium where Martin had the pleasure of meeting Jose and John (and posing like them too as you can see from the attached!), then came back to Prague.

All in all a great time was had by all and it was made all the better by the camaraderie of all those who took part and also those who supported us. So from all of us runners, thank you very much.

Ultimately, we did this to support a really worthy charity and for those of you who would still like to donate, there is still time to do so on the following webpage

Once again, a big thank you to everyone who helped make this happen from the team, especially the supporters and the donators.