21/11/2013 12:13 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 16:01 GMT

How I Survived the 'Survival of the Fittest'... Just About

Five employees from AOL and The Huffington Post, including myself, took part in the extreme urban assault course which was set in and around Battersea Power Station. Armed with only our thermal run gear and a GoPro camera we set out to tackle this monster urban assault course.

Billed as the 'Survival of the Fittest' the Men's Health 10k certainly lived up to the hype.

Five employees from AOL and The Huffington Post UK, including myself, took part in the extreme urban assault course which was set in and around Battersea Power Station.

Armed with only our thermal run gear and a GoPro camera we set out to tackle this monster urban assault course.

Four of us are all fairly fit by our own admission, we also has had an additional member to our team, Simon, who over the last year lost an incredible eight-and-half stone in weight and he'd only ever run 6k before and we said to him 'we enter this race a team and we'll finish the race as a team'.

We were rounded up and ushered to the front of the line for our 11am start, but not before the over enthusiastic fitness trainer got us all warmed up ready to tackle our first obstacle of giant hay bails.

Once we clambered over the hay, the 6ft wall and the hurdles, it was on to carrying sand bags, climbing over a 20ft net and then the monkey bars.

I have the upper body strength equivalent to my four-year-old son, so I dreaded the facing these bars. A couple of months earlier I joined the gym to try and build a few muscles in preparation for this race as I looked like the man from the 'Mr Muscle' TV adverts.

Did the gym pay off? I'm not going to say I negotiated this part of the obstacle with ease but I managed to get across without touching the floor, so I guess the time at the gym was well spent, one nil to us.

That was the first part of the course completed, then came the running, through the mud and under a series of man-made bridges. There was a great sense of camaraderie within our team, although it was only a 10k race through Battersea the gathering sense of achievement was quite plain to see for all. We then successfully worked our way through smashed up cars, tunnels, a freight truck and a mountain of tyres.

mens health

With the first part of the assault course out of the way, now it was time for the run. Although it was set along the banks of the Thames and the leafy suburbs of Battersea, this was no stroll in the park.

We worked our way along the edge of Battersea park dodging the roller-skaters, dog walkers and leisurely morning runners making idle chat. The next part of the challenge was to carry a weighted traffic cone around a 400m running track situated inside the park then reverse bad on yourself and jump a series hurdles.

So good, so far for the 'AOL/HuffPost Allstars' and amazingly we're all sticking together, slightly encouraged by the marshals, who, for the last 3k have have been shouting, 'you're nearly half way'.

We prepared well for the race in terms of fitness, running twice a week for the last few months, with Simon now giving us a good run for our money. It's back to the power station, with a quick water stop, we charge back through the park, over tyres, back through the freight truck and then we're handed more cones.

Now the real test starts, we pick up half-empty keg and carry it 10metres (which is far enough) then come a series of newly constructed half-pipe ramps from a skate park, all at different heights, this part of the course is pushing us to the physical limits, but were keeping in mind the eight-foot giant wall situated on the finishing line.

Now we face the gruelling task of the last kilometre, punishing climbs, skips full of waist-deep frozen water, a maze of purpose-built zig-zagging tunnels, 30ft ramps and last but not least the eight-foot wall situated right on the finish line.

From the start this was a team event, with three things in mind, raising money for charity, taking part, finishing as a team and individually proving our fitness.

But the biggest personal achievement came for Simon as he crossed the finish line. After firstly achieving such a monumental weight loss and then completing the Survival of the Fittest, there could not have been a prouder person in the whole of London.

I'd like to to say that we all sailed over the final wall in a Hollywood style leap but I'm afraid to say it was more of heave and pull to get us over that last obstacle, but it's the taking part that counts, right?