When most women picture their hen party, they might envisage a wild night out or a relaxing spa day; a makeover and a glass of something sparkling, or maybe even all three! But one recent hen do was an altogether messier affair when bride-to-be Amy Piplica from Bradford was treated to a place on my notoriously muddy Major Series North. Very many congratulations to Amy and her new husband Gavin. Here’s what she and her 2ic reported back to Top Brass:
The first that Amy, 27, knew about her surprise was when she received an invitation from her maid of honour Rachel Hawley to ‘save the date’ for a weekend in April. The pair have known each other for 15 years and have a history of organising surprises for each other. Rachel had heard Amy ponder aloud about doing a mud run one day and so a plan started to take shape…..
“The Major looked perfect because it wasn’t too far – as I don’t do exercise,” said Rachel, “and it was designed for beginners, with the Major’s troops helping out at each obstacle. So, I booked tickets for all eight of the hen party. Some of the others did some training runs to prepare for the event, but I thought I’d be supportive of Amy – not lazy, oh no! – and not bother to go to the gym or anything!”
Rachel briefed Amy’s fiancé Gavin to pack her a bag of sports kit, containing a few different options, and when all her friends arrived at her house at 9am on the Friday morning, they also had their bags packed and wore casual clothes as decoys for the main event.
The group set off from Bradford to spend Friday in Newcastle and during the journey from Newcastle to Bramham Park near Leeds the following day, Rachel drip-fed Amy some military-themed clues she’d written.
Amy said: “The first clue was: ‘The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it’ so that was a big hint because the Major’s motto is No Mud No Glory.
“The second was something like: Although I am your 2ic (second in command) I still want to keep you on your toes. You’ve got your Gucci kit (top notch outfit) and a buckshee tab (free entry to a weight-carrying march). Don’t worry today there’ll be no crow bags – no biff chits allowed. Here’s your Bergen. Hoorah!
“Then there were three pictures – Eminem from his video Soldier; Rihanna in army kit and Destiny’s Child from their track ‘I Need a Solider’, so it all began to fit together. But it wasn’t until the fourth clue – a picture of the Spice Girls in army kit doing a boot camp session – that I knew it was definitely the Major Series I would be doing.”
At that point Rachel handed over Amy’s head band and specially printed Bride-To-Be t-shirt and revealed that the rest of the party would be decked out in khaki ‘Bride Squad’ t-shirts. The head band stayed on through the 5km run despite the group taking on all 10 of the Major’s trademark obstacles including mud crawls, hay bales, an eight-foot-high cargo net climb and a giant 40m slide over 5km.
Amy said: “I’d always said I wanted my hen do to be an activity, something a bit out of the ordinary, and it was brilliant! Everyone was cheering us on and saying ‘I can’t believe you’re doing this for your hen do!’ With the support and everyone asking questions, it made it more special. I’d definitely try the Major Series again and would love to give the 8km course a go in October. But we’ll do that one as man and wife next time!”
Amy and Gavin are childhood sweethearts who met at ice-skating sessions on a Saturday morning when Amy was 14. Gavin proposed after asking his future father-in-law’s permission, in the traditional way, when Amy was 21 and they were on holiday in Egypt. They were married in Mexico on 20 April with the bridal party present and are having a ceremony in the UK in May.
To book your place at one of the Major’s new events, visit www.themajor.com