Do I need a team to run an obstacle race or mud run?
The short answer is NO. Almost every mud run and obstacle race allow for participants to run either solo or on a team. It depends on a runner's goals for the obstacle race or mud run whether he or she should go it solo or on a team.
How does racing on a team work?
There are two main ways that racing on a team operates in obstacle racing and mud runs.
The first and most common way for a team to compete is each athlete registers for the race and affiliates themselves with a team or creates a team with a group of friends. Most events do not have a limit on the number of team members on a given team.
For mud runs creating a team is a purely social activity and can bring together friends and co-workers. Since no prizes are given out at the end of the day teams are simply a way for a group to run together and sometimes get discounts on entries for larger teams. For obstacle race series like Gladiator Rockn Run they award prizes to the largest team at each event as well as races like Spartan Race offer the largest team a tent to gather. Some teams such as the New England Spahtens or Weeple Army have been known to have over 200 people racing on a given race day.
Racing or completing an event on a team described above allows for all participants to either run as a group or run independently and combine their times at the end of the event. It is up to the team how they want to run.
The alternative way teams are run can be like Worlds Toughest Mudder where all participants on the team must stay together the entire race. Teams need to be at least four people, and participants help each other and stick together receiving one team time at the end of the event.
Tips to Running With a Team:
Running on a team can be an excellent way to experience an obstacle race or mud run. It's fun to race and compete with friends and help each other over the tough obstacles. Here are a few tips to make racing with a team even more enjoyable.
- Team Name – have a team name, embrace it and live it!
- Set Expectations – before the race decide whether you plan to run as a group or separately then stick to that plan on event day.
- Team Size – If you have a large team running together be mindful of those around you allow room on the trail for people to pass or pass people with care.
- Step Away from the Obstacle – If you and your team are waiting for a few members to complete and obstacle be sure your team is not blocking the flow of other racers.
- Help Each Other – part of racing on a team is helping those around you and on your team. Help each other throughout the course. Encourage each other even in the tough moments.
- Leave No One Behind – if the plan was to stick together, stick together, do not leave a racer behind. Start as a team finish as a team.
- Post Race – Do not tell those around you how much better you could have done if you hadn't raced with your team. It will only make the slowest in your group feel lesser about their experience and using your team as an excuse for your speed is in poor form. If the expectations were to run together own it and embrace your team, if not run solo next time.
Overall, running with a team can be a great experience and is especially a great way to get new people involved in the sport of OCR, obstacle racing and mud runs. At the end of the day, it's about having new experiences and enjoying a day of fitness and health.