Run Adegem 11 KM MSR
Date 17 November 2019
Difficulty (what’s this?) A3
Rating Highly Recommended

On the seventeenth of November 2019, I participated in the 25th edition of the Adegem Survivalrun together with Laurence, Melanie, Bram, Perry, Oscar, Pim and Jeffrey. To quote my boy Hugo, leader of ‘the BokkenRijders’ in the Efteling amusement park: “het was een hel gelijk”.
The competition categories for Adegem are a bit infamous within the Survivalrun community, some people Laurence and I spoke before the run still harbored fear for the MSRs or LSRs from years past. As this was my first offical MSR run, I was excited to find out what the fuss was all about, although I was bit scared as well as even I could predict that my body performance would not improve on the alcohol-diet it received due to fridays survival gala and saturdays brewery tour.
At the start I immediately found some people who wanted to get a headstart on the competition by already half climbing into the first obstacle before the start signal, only to get overtaken immediately after the first obstacle by everyone in the same starting group. I immediately learned that even in competition starting groups, some of these classic encounters seen more often in recreational runs are not that uncommon.
I loved the variety and placing of the obstacles in the run. The run really ramps up its difficulty as you progress towards the finish. You can warm up a bit with the relatively easy net swing-overs in the first kilometers, but soon enough you find yourself doing 10 swing-over variants in a row or crossing the same river six times with progressively more gruelling combi’s. Some of my favorite obstacles (although maybe not at the time) involved climbing under a bridge, using a variety of ropes, bags and triangles to cross the river and climbing a diagonal salmon-ladder. However, none of these obstacles could joy me as much as the giant tarzan swing over the river, where one had to climb to the middle via monkeyhang, take a rope and swing as fast as possible to be able to dive in a net a bit further down the river. Laurence and I even did it twice for good measure.
Swinging from point A to point B was a common theme during the run. A lot of obstacles involved tarzan swings, traverse and swinging on arms through firemanhoses, ropes, triangles, rings etc. The run is not light on the arms and I would say very demanding even for MSR standards. I made it to the end with my wristband still intact, but getting there was far from easy. Luckily I had Laurence, who is normally nothing more than an annoying bug reflected on my visual cortex, to perserve to the very end through words of encouragement and through blanket-delivery, proving dying is always more fun and manageable with a buddy.
The refreshing posts and the volunteers we came across on the way were also really nice. They provided us with the usual power sources such as water and bananas, but also with cake. Furthermore, I learned from experience that when you act like you are really cold, they also provide you with a blanket and coffee for on the road, epic lifehack! The volunteers were also really involved and you could hear them being compassionate towards the failures and achievements of the runners.
Which I did not like as much, was seeing that the recreational runners had to run a course far less interesting compared to the offical competition runners. Where we had to do 16 hard swing-overs, they had to do about 8 easier ones. Where we had to cross the river through all kind of torture-contraptions, they basically had to cross a bridge. Obviously it makes sense that the recreational runners do not have to do the same as the MSR runners, but a lot of fun obstacles were unnecessarely cut out for the recreational run, like the fun giant tarzan swing which was not at all very hard I was talking about earlier. The sentiment that the recreational 7k and 10k run was unnecessarily too easy was shared with our part of the group that took part in those runs. Nevertheless, these runs seemed a lot of fun for beginners of the sport.
My verdict is that the MSR run in Adegem is really something special. A lot of obstacles are unique, you will be tested to your limit and the atmosphere is very nice. However, if you are still not ready to do big competitive runs, but are still ready of a real challenge, it might be better to skip this one in favour of for example the Hang-on run in Doorn which also takes place around that time of the year.