Run for your wife

Come back from your stag do harbouring more than just a monumental hangover and memories of that alluring Latvian lap dancer, with our guide to the top five ways to get running on your last weekend of freedom


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Terrified of ending your last days as a bachelor tied naked to a lampost explaining your actions to a policeman, or coming to in a bus stop in Glasgow without your wallet? Then why not try something different as you wave farewell to your freedom and hurtle towards marital bliss?

Free Running

A high percentage of stag dos often result in participants eating concrete at some stage, whether it’s as a result of a bouncer’s right hook or simply falling down rotten drunk after trying to scoop up the contents of your kebab. But now you can specifically pay for the privilege of risking death by man-made structure if you organise for you and the boys to undergo a two-hour free running or Parkour session. Learning to jump over urban obstacles with all the agility of the lovechild of Catwoman and Spiderman surely takes more than one two-hour tutorial and there is a fair chance the local casualty ward will feature on the weekend’s itinerary if the plentiful evidence on YouTube is anything to go by. In recent years, it’s been added to the more conventional paintball and go-karting options offered by activity companies operating in most of the UK’s major cities, so it really might just be a question of finding out the average A&E waiting times on your shortlist of destinations and opting for the quickest.

Who can help?

www.freedomltd.com

What do I need?

Strong hands, agile feet and a lot of bottle.

Danger rating:

★★★✩✩

What you can tell her:

No, I didn’t get into a fight, I lost my teeth trying to hurdle a Biffa Bin.

Run with the Bulls

Depending on the type of nightclub you frequent, running from a horde of pissed-off, stampeding monsters will either come as second nature or have you shaking in your shoes. The centuries-old festival in San Fermin seems to attract critics and backers in equal measure, depending on their stance on animal cruelty, but there’s no question it will get the adrenaline racing through your system quicker than an out-of-date prawn vindaloo. Every morning from July 7 to July 14, the bulls are released from their pen at 8am and make their way down the 847m course as hundreds of brave (drunk) men take their chances with three tonnes of angry beef en route to the bull ring, where the beasts take on the matadors in the afternoon. The sadistic best man in you might make the stag run on his own while the rest of the party watch from the safety of a rented balcony. Those possessed of such a lofty vantage point last year would have had a clear view of the 15th death to have occurred at the event since 1911. Daniel Jimeno Romero was killed when a bull gored him in the neck and lung. This year’s festival didn’t see anyone suffer quite so nasty an end, but four Brits were among the 36 runners who suffered injuries.

Who can help?

www.iberiantraveler.com

What do I need?

Traditional Basque dress of white trousers, white T-shirt and red neckerchief, plus optional body armour.

Danger rating:

★★★★✩

What you can tell her:

Remember that ride we took on a beachfront donkey in Southend? This is just like that. Honest.

Rap Running

Otherwise known as abseiling down a sheer cliff facing forwards, and reportedly invented by the Australian army in the 1960s when it was known as the ‘carabina-rundown’. You need to run rather than edge down the rock like an inebriated snail, or the rest of the stag party will be waiting at the bottom ready to dress you in a pink tutu. Once you have grown the minerals to actually step off a cliff face-first, the trick, of course, is to very quickly get the hang of balancing your bodyweight while at the same time propelling yourself towards terra-firma. Get the speed/balance combo wrong and expect to eat granite as you spin the wrong way round. Go too slowly and you’ll just end up being suspended mid-air like a low-rent Angel Gabriel in a Nativity play. The good, or bad, thing about it is that the speed of your descent is in your own hands because you have control of the rope. It will take a few goes to get the confidence to start going down at pace, but once you’re up to it the adrenaline rush is massive. Anywhere you can go abseiling should, in theory, be able to cater for you, but Nae Limits in Perthshire advertises rap running specifically on its website.

Who can help?

www.naelimits.co.uk

What do I need?

Trainers with a decent grip, clothes that won’t get caught in the rope and safety gear that should be provided by the company you book through. If it isn’t, think twice.

Danger rating:

★★✩✩✩

What you can tell her:

I did this sort of thing in the Cubs. I’ll be fine.

Man v Machine

You might want to take a more serious assessment of the party’s running abilities before booking this one, because it’s a bit more testing than a stroll through the park. Twynn in Mid-Wales has played host to this annual event since 1986, sending runners off against a train as it departs from Tallylyn Railway station and snakes its way through the valley before taking ten minutes to rest and turn around before heading back to the town. The course follows the train line as closely as possible and in all it’s a 14-mile slog across tracks, trails and fields. Including its stops and turnaround time, the steam engine can do the circuit in 1hr 47mins, which is not beyond the realms of a number of the men who take part. There are some shorter runs, with the option available to jump on the train from Tallylyn and get off to race it on the return leg. Stag parties have been known to use the race as an activity and there are less picturesque places to spend your last weekend of freedom.

Who can help?

www.racethetrain.com

What do I need?

A respectable amount of running ability and your kit.

Danger rating:

★★✩✩✩

What you can tell her:

Would you rather I spend the weekend in a strip club in Cardiff?

Soldier on

It’s more than likely at least one of you will end up scaling a wall or traipsing through a ditch trying to get back to the hotel after a night out, but in case your nocturnal journey home fails to present any such challenges, you could always get your adrenaline fix by taking on a military assault course. There are dozens of places that take group bookings where you can all experience what it must feel like to be on the Krypton Factor; swinging on ropes, running through knee-deep mud and overcoming ten-feet high walls while trying desperately to hold onto the 15 pints of lager you necked the previous evening. On a standard military course you’ll be taken through the obstacles by a qualified military instructor before splitting into teams and taking on a timed challenge, which is where you’ll really find out who your mates are, because you can only move as quickly as your slowest man. Time for the chubbies to get nervous.

Who can help:

www.travel-quest.co.uk

What do I need?

A few well-rehearsed quotes from Full Metal Jacket for when someone gets stuck at the top of the cargo net.

Danger rating:

★★✩✩✩

What you can tell her:

Were you born a fat, repugnant, scumbag, piece o’ sh*t, Private Pyle, or did you have to work on it?

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