How to enjoy the rat race

Earlier today, I saw something great.

I was visiting the Rat Race Run at Burghley House, Stamford. At this run, thousands of people run 20 miles, off-road, over the world’s largest assault course.

It is gruelling. Made particularly difficult by the worst obstacles being saved for the last ‘sprint’ of the run. Here’s a particularly challenging one:

My wife and I watched a hundred or so people attempting this on their own, or helping each other to get up and over this obstacle. Really good people would help a couple of others and then be pulled up by those they helped and carry on. Most people needed only a little physical support.

Then something great happened.

Another runner (whose name I later learned is Adam Luck), arrived at the base of the obstacle and began helping others up. When asked if he wanted help, he said “no, this is my favourite bit, I’ll be here a while”.

Adam helped many people up the obstacle, giving them instructions on where to put their feet and to ‘lean into the wall’. Some (accidentally) kicked him right in the face in the process.

Many would have stopped at this point with good reason, but Adam continued.

A group of three ladies in particular are very glad that he did.

Watch the video below, you’ll see the third of the three ladies, nearly in tears when she arrived at the obstacle, and almost ready to give up. Adam patiently captures her attention, gives instructions, and helps her to overcome the obstacle. It was incredibly moving, and people watching nearly shed a tear.

So many people crossed the finish line and felt an enormous sense of achievement. Some ran it ‘alone’, but those that ran as groups and helped each other, felt an even greater sense of achievement when finishing.

Adam in particular knew he’d get ten times more enjoyment by being great – providing mental and physical support to those that needed it, at the most difficult time to provide it.

It’s a good reminder that any ways in which we can help others through our work and personal lives is always worthwhile.

Well done to all of the runners, and particularly to Adam Luck. Adam, if you see this please get in touch, I’d like to buy you a well-earned beer.

About The Author

Alexis Kingsbury

Alexis is founder of the Parentpreneur Accelerator and Making Greatness Ltd. He is a serial entrepreneur, with experience creating start-ups in a variety of areas, particularly in SaaS and EdTech. He is also a lucky husband and proud dad, and now helps other 'parentpreneurs' like him to achieve their dreams of having successful businesses, making a difference in the world, and spending time with the people they love.


  • Alexis Kingsbury

    May 11, 2015

    Hi Vicki, first, congratulations on completing the course! There were a lot of tired, bruised people at the finish line, and many others that didn’t make it all the way round. When I posted the video on facebook, I was amazed when so many people watched it (over 1,000 views in 24 hours) and was touched by the more than 40 comments about it, including yours.

    I was glad when Adam saw it and commented too! In reaction to the many “what a legend” comments from others, he has been incredibly humble in his replies, emphasising: “You’re all looking at the wrong person. For me it is easy. I think we are all aware that I am a pretty sizeable chap and can lift a lot. This lady, however, was terrified but still managed a huge obstacle course and faced up to that fear. It isn’t me that is the legend.”

    Jen (the lady in the video he helped up the wall) later came across the video and replied too: “Thank you Alexis, this truly does sum up the spirit of the event. If I’m brave enough to return next year a pint will be bought for this amazingly kind soul. xx” and “It still feels humbling to know so many people had so much faith in me when I was so scared and full of doubt. Thank you Adam Luck, you pulled and pushed me right back into the game, mwah xx”.

    Well done to Vicki, Jen, Adam and all the other runners in this race. Your spirit and fortitude is inspiring, and I plan to be right there with you next year.

  • Vicki

    May 10, 2015

    Hi, I was the lady that Adam helped before this video and I was one of the ladies helping in the video. This is my friend Jen who was very terrified of this obstacle. She later told me what he said to her and I was so moved. This guy is an absolute legend and I can’t thank him enough