Running up muddy slopes, leaping over flaming beams and wading through 10 tonnes of ice and water isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think of fine dining chefs.
So you can imagine my surprise when I found out that eight members of our MEETinLEEDS catering team were participating in this year’s Leeds Total Warrior obstacle race on June 28th. I myself have participated in 15k runs and a little cross country before, but 30 obstacles crammed into 12k sounds like a far greater challenge.
Local Charity Events
So too thinks Marc Mottershead, head chef of MEETinLEEDS. The team has taken part in similar obstacle courses before, such as X-runner and Tough Mudder, and they keep their eye out for new courses to run full on for charity.
“We try to keep it local, though, so everyone can have a chance to take part.”
“The exciting thing is the change in team dynamics … In the kitchen, I’m the boss, but for this course, Phil is in charge of the team”
70% of Total Warrior’s entry fees go toward a number of charities, and organisers welcome participants fundraising for a charity of their own choosing. Whilst Phill Tostevin, Second Chef, has run for charities including Cancer Research in the past, this time the team are donating all their proceeds to Martin House Children’s Hospice.
Whilst running for charity is part of the motivation behind the grueling obstacle course, there are other objectives behind catering’s participation. When asked what they were looking forward to both Marc and Phil grinned and the lines “watching people suffer and getting really muddy” might have been said.
“The exciting thing is the change in team dynamics” explains Marc. “In the kitchen, I’m the boss, but for this course, Phil is in charge of the team.”
“It means we get to see each other in a different light, outside of the workplace environment and that’s a great way to get to know each other better.” Phil adds.
Preparation and Diet Changes
With only one more month to go, for now the participants are preparing for Total Warrior by running through Hyde Park on their breaks, changing their diet accordingly and generally keeping fit.
Will the team achieve their fundraising target of £500? Will they live to tell the tale? And will Phill be destined to scrub dishes for the rest of his life after putting the team through its paces? In any case, we’ll be rooting for them and sponsoring them on their arduous trek.
Fundraising, healthy team building through friendly competition and some role reversal, there seems to be so much to gain for your pain. One day maybe I should also trade in my athletics jersey for a ragged T-shirt (or costume!) and give it a shot, too!