If you're on Mud Run Guide looking for tips and do's and don'ts for your first OCR you’re in the right place. Let me tell you about what the great sport has done for me.

In 2013, I was extremely out of shape weighed around 280 pounds and with that, I was also extremely depressed. Late that summer I decided to try to do something about it, I started running and changed my diet a little bit. I signed up for my first 5k to give myself a goal to work towards. As I was looking online I saw an advertisement for Tough Mudder. My first thought was there is no way I can run 10-12 miles so I kind of forgot about it for a bit. After finishing a few 5K’s early in 2014 I decided that I would do my first TM that June in Whistler. I continued running and started CrossFit for training and continued signing up for 5ks to have small goals to work towards.

Pulling up to Tough Mudder Whistler was intimidating and exciting at the same time. Before jumping over the wall into the starting area I hugged and kissed my wife like I wasn't sure it would come back. I mean, I was about to run 11 plus miles and do 20 plus obstacles on my own. What I didn't know was that I was running with a team of thousands. I figured this out once I got to the first obstacle I couldn't do without help.

I stood at Berlin Walls and attempted it a handful of times and decided I was just going to walk around it and move on but about that time I had a guy slap me on the back and tell me “you're not walking around” this guy who didn't know me got into a wall sit position and told me to step on him where ever I needed to to get over that wall and he did the same thing to help me get over the next one. That right there was the moment I fell in love with this sport. The camaraderie in this sport is infectious. After finishing that run I felt amazing I knew I would be signing up for more. I was excited to be a part of a sport that was growing and had an amazing following.

OCR has been a life-changing thing for me. I’m down 70 pounds and train 5-6 times a week. Every day I go to the gym I have my next race in mind. Every race I sign up for I want to complete more obstacles, have fewer penalties, and run faster laps, at the same time I also will lend a helping hand where it’s needed even if it means not getting the lap time I was shooting for.

If you’re looking for you’re first race and you’re questioning your fitness, just sign up. That alone will give you something to work towards. Every time you don’t feel like training remember you have a race coming up. If you’re worried about not having a friend to run it with, don’t worry because you’re going to be on course with thousands of new friends that are willing to help you get over those tall intimidating walls or coach you through some of the tough obstacles. Once you get that first race done you’re going to want to sign up for more, so you find your next race and make a new goal for it and train. Always have a goal to train for and crush it.

If you are a veteran of the sport don’t forget about the people that are doing their first race.

They may be holding you up at an obstacle because they are nervous or are struggling with it. Instead of getting annoyed give them some encouragement and help them if you can. Although each person gets an individual time, OCR is still very much a team sport.

Don’t forget what it was like to run that first race. We have all had the first race jitters and have had one or two obstacles that scared us or that we struggled with.

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