Okay, before you go ‘What in the world is “Gung-Ho!” and why do I need to be “Gung-Ho!”?’, let me tell you two things: 1) it’s fun and 2) you need to do it!
When lovely people from Be Gung-Ho!* invited me to take part in a famous 5K run in Chester, I was over the moon.
Why would anyone be so excited over the 5K run, you ask?
Because it is not your usual 5K. It is the biggest 5K inflatable obstacle course in the WORLD!
Imagine doing a bit of fitness (I have to be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve done a 5K) while having the time of your life making your way through obstacles which are a grown up version of the most epic bouncy castle. Yes, please!
I had been buzzing over the fact that this year Be Gung-Ho! came to Chester.
They’ve been touring all over the UK since 2015 and have visited many amazing cities. Last year the closest location to me would’ve been Manchester and the year before it was Liverpool.
I guess the fun part is you never know whether they might come to your city or somewhere close to you. Most likely, they will.
Here’s the list of locations for the rest of 2018:
Northants Towcester Racecourse – 30 June 2018
Kent – 7th July 2018
Southampton – 21st July 2018
Aberdeen – 1st September 2018
Norwich – 15th September 2018
London SE19 Crystal Palace Park – 22nd September 2018
Hull East Park – 29th September 2018
Aaborg, Denmark – 18th August 2018
Malmo, Sweden – 25th August 2018
Odense, Denmark – 1st September 2018
Kobenhavn, Denmark – 8th September 2018
Umea, Sweden – 15th September 2018
Arbus, Denmark – 22nd September 2018
Are they coming anywhere close to you? If yes, hurry up and get your tickets – it’s worth it!
Now, the fun part.
I don’t mean that running a 5K isn’t fun. Though, let’s admit, it’s much more exciting when it’s a different kind of run.
I am not the best runner and I start hyperventilating after 10 minutes of cardio (I’m working on it!) but I thoroughly enjoyed Be Gung-Ho!. Mainly because of the giant inflatable obstacles and the fact that I could pretend I am 10 again.
Each course is designed (and the obstacles are positioned differently) depending on the location.
In Chester we got a good selection, and here are a few of them:
1. Eat a nutritious light breakfast before the race and stay hydrated. Don’t overeat but do eat. Also, it’s not going to be possible to carry a water bottle with you because there’s a lot of climbing and bouncing involved but there will be a water point half way. Obviously, you can stop and go get some water at any stage of the race.
2. Arrive 30 minutes in advance. It will give you time to park (you can either find your own parking or book it through Be Gung-Ho! for £4 online or pay £5 on the day), collect your race pack and do the warm-up with your wave time group. There will also be a manned bag drop stand for £3 if you’d like to leave any belongings there.
3. You can walk or skip obstacles. If you’re finding it tough going at any part of the 5K, you can stop, walk and take it easy for as long as you’d like. You don’t have to do all the obstacles if you feel like certain ones are too challenging (I honestly thought I’d never conquer The Wall. It was super tough but I did it!).
4. Bring friends and family. Spectators’ entry is free of charge so you are more than welcome to bring your whole squad who can watch you break into sweat, cheer you on and take those epic foam photos of you at the finish line.
5. Winner’s pack! Don’t forget to pick up your winner’s pack once you’ve completed the race. It includes a free tee and a free headband. I like the fact that everyone who crosses the finish line is a winner! It’s all about having a good time.
1. You will have fun.
No matter what your age or your fitness level is, or whether you love (or hate) for running, you will have a great time.
(I’m pretty sure it’s thanks to all the inflatable obstacles aka adult bouncy castles.)
I would recommend getting your friends to sign up with you and do the race together. Those who can’t run or take part can come and observe (plus take rad photos of you!) as it’s free for the public to watch as I’ve mentioned above.
2. You can help support a good cause.
Gung-Ho! is working closely with BBC Children in Need charity.
You too can be a part of it by signing up here and pledging to raise a min sponsorship of £100. Join to be Team Pudsey and cross that finish line knowing you’ve made a difference.
Gung-Ho! also partners with a number of your local charities which you can support by taking part. Here’s the list of the current (and the past) ones so you can see what cause you’re giving back to.
3. Kick start your fitness journey.
This is an optional reason, of course. But if you’re anything like me, you have probably been wanting to up your fitness game for a while now.
I had been going to the gym just to abandon it for months because I didn’t have any structure to it or was lacking motivation big time. I took up running in the morning just to find out that I don’t actually enjoy morning runs.
At the same time, this Gung-Ho! 5K that I did last weekend pushed me to start working out and being active again. I don’t know what happened but something just clicked. I realised that I am actually fed up with struggling to run for 10 minutes without gasping for air like I’m about to collapse. It made me understand that I want to be healthy, fit and strong again. Since then, I have been to the gym 3 times this week, and it’s only Friday. I’m going again tomorrow.
4. Bond with old friends and make new ones.
Since moving to a new city (AND a new country!), I realised how important that friends circle is in our lives.
Whether you have your friends close-by and at your beck and call 24/7 or you’re just settling in at your new place trying to build new contacts, an activity like running a fun 5K together would help to strengthen those bonds.
You can always sign up by yourself, or build a team from 2 to up to 100 members!
Nothing brings people closer than living, traveling, working or doing fun stuff together.
5. Do something you’ve never done before.
As someone who likes stability, comfort and being in control, I have learnt to push myself and step out of my comfort zone a lot for the past few years.
Especially when you’re nearing or have reached your 30s, you’re starting to think of things you haven’t done yet.
Instead of hiding in my shell (like I would do a lot in my early 20s), I am stepping out and doing more and more fun stuff I have never done before and actually living my life to the fullest.
This year, for example, I have climbed my first mountain (Snowdon, Wales). Now I did my first fun 5K.
It might not seem like a lot or come across not as exhilarating as, say, skydiving, but it’s going to open up so many ways for you to enjoy your life. Something you had no idea you could get a kick out of. Something that could uplift you, make you laugh, make a fun talking point.
Go do something fun this summer. Be Gung-Ho!
*This post was written in collaboration with Be Gung-Ho! in the UK
who kindly provided me with tickets to experience this fun event.
All thoughts, opinions and recommendations are my own.
Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve ever done a Be Gung-Ho! 5K fun run.
Would you like to do it & why?