If you've been following the Facebook page you'll know that this week (Friday and Saturday) I was competing in the OCR European championships. I was incredibly proud to have made the cut for this prestigious event and being placed in the 45yr-49yr bracket to represent the Netherlands.

I won't lie, I was a tiny bit apprehensive, given that I have been fighting back from a severe shoulder injury, however, being as determined as ever was raring to go. 

The atmosphere during the events was just amazing and I consider it a real privilege to have been there. It was a brilliant experience, competing in the same event as World's Best OCR elite athlete Jonathan Albon and to be amongst so many inspirational fellow athletes from so many countries.

The short race ran at 3pm Friday and the standard race 12.20pm on the Saturday. Despite being disappointed at the time I completed 17 out of 18 obstacles mostly very difficult (ninja style) obstacles but failed the "Runmageddon" obstacle. The obstacle requires total arm stretch and hanging, where you have to swing 180 degrees from ring to ring (distance approximately 150cm apart) about 15 times. As my shoulder function was at about 70% it was painfully jarring at that stretch and angle so I had to let go. I re-tried but felt I would seriously damage my shoulder further so decided not to risk it.

Basically, my shoulder became my Achilles heels as I felt strongly that I could have made it if my shoulder was ok. Anyway, the majority of participants in my category didn't complete all of the obstacleseither, even some super bods and ninja warrior-looking, elite athletes, didn't manage every single one.  I managed to finish fine, on one of the most difficult OCR events, amongst some of Europe's finest all-round athletes. 

Needless to say, a decent refuel and some healing was needed after the first event which included recovery drinks,  eating fish and steak with veg, some carbs and also some tiger balm and muscle easing products! All preparation for the next day's battle!

I was determined to complete the brutal 15k course on the Sunday (and did) with my brother supporting me en-route. There were at least 50 more obstacles to contend with (gruelling but satisfying when completed) and I decided to "pick my battles" here, so as not to wrench my shoulder further.

Overall I'm really pleased with how these two events went, considering the severity of the injuries I sustained a few months ago. At one point I didn't think I would make the European Championships at all, despite having qualified. In the run up to it my body needed to recover, I couldn't train properly and had to cancel a number of other events. It just goes to show that determination, commitment and mind-set can go a long way, as can support! I was very lucky to have family (including my parents) and friends around and nearby which made this a very special event altogether.

Running with the support of my brother made this event all the better!

The plan now is to get this shoulder back up to 100% and hopefully qualify again for next year. I would love to get my teeth back into these European Championship events at full fitness!