As a mother of two, a personal trainer and a competitive racer, I am fiercely passionate about encouraging the next generation of obstacle course racers. So when an opportunity came up at Phoenix Evolution (an OCR gym located in Chandler, Arizona) to coach 25 kids, ages 5-13, I could not have been more excited. Our job was simple, to get these kids race day ready for the Arizona Kids Spartan Race. We held two training sessions at the gym and then cheered them on at the race at Fort McDowell.
Most of the kids that came to the first training session were fairly intimidated by the obstacles. We had set up a 1-mile course that included an army crawl, two 4-foot walls, mini sandbag carries, tire flips and tractor pulls, balance beams, agility ladders, a slack line, the Olympus wall, a Z wall and even a kid-friendly rig and monkey bars. Basically, all your favorites just scaled for kids.
By the second training session, all of the kids were pumped up and gaining confidence. They were tackling obstacles that the first time around many were intimidated to try. We set up a shorter course and each child had 3 tries to beat their previous time. The grit and perseverance displayed was honestly nothing short of amazing. Even as a mother, kids continue to amaze me daily.
Race Day on Spartan Kids Course
When race day rolled around, the kids were ready. They showed up and absolutely crushed the course. Spartan does an impeccable job creating a kid-friendly course that is challenging and fun at the same time. All of our kids wore their medals with pride and were so excited to wear their new Spartan shirts and headbands to school the next day.
I can see the future of the sport in our children's eyes. For these kids, this race is nothing more than play and that is what makes this sport so enticing. Although for many adults, the thought of climbing mountains, scaling walls, crawling through mud, climbing ropes and jumping through fire seems crazy, this truly is a sport that brings out your inner child. The beauty of OCR is that you can compete as a family. There are so many races that offer endurance, sprint and kid events. So check out your next local race, sign up as a family, have fun, get outside, and make some memories together!
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