I recently stumbled upon a local magazine that accepts submissions from my community (I-29 Magazine). In the interest of growing Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) in my local area, I sent them a quick write up for their magazine. I did not ask, want or receive any compensation, I was just trying to grow the sport I love in my local area. While I don’t think it’s a big deal to drive two, four or even eight hours to a race and you may feel the same, for most participants they race primarily when the race is in their hometown. If the race doesn’t come to their town, they don’t do it.
With that, I want to encourage ALL of you to write an article for your local paper or newspaper to spread the sport. It’s as simple as when you see a local magazine in a store, gym or one that automatically arrives in your mailbox, look up the contact information and shoot them an article.
To help you out, I’ve included a draft below. Mine is focused on the Midwest/Kansas City area but it can easily be adjusted. I’m giving you 100% permission to plagiarize my writing below. Copy and paste the below text into a word document. Delete everywhere it says Kansas City or is highlighted, add in your hometown with some of your own local races and bingo, you’ve got an article. Grow the sport and enjoy!
Join in For a Local Obstacle Course Race!
Obstacle Course Racing (OCR), sometimes referred to as Mud Runs, is a great way to get outside, have fun and be healthy. It involves walking/jogging/running over a set distance while climbing, crawling and swinging your way across man-made obstacles. Obstacles like monkey bars, low crawls, walls, slant walls, log carries, balance beams, rigs and more await you on what many describe as an adult playground. While there are participants who race competitively, the majority of event attendees are there to get off the couch and enjoy a day on the course.
As we enter 2020, I want to encourage you to grab some friends, get moving and head to a local race. Plenty of people show up and walk the length of the course, completing only the obstacles that they can, while helping out their friends. It’s a great time that is usually free for those coming to watch and usually includes a pre/post-race festival area with snacks and occasionally some adult beverages.
Here is a list of races in the Kansas City area that you can run without having to drive more than an hour:
January 26, 2020 in Bonner Springs, KS: KC Timber Challenge’s Yeti: 5k, 30+ obstacle wintertime race (no water obstacles) that includes an epic final obstacle, using a sledgehammer to break part of a car. (www.KCTimberChallenge.com)
June 6, 2020 in Lake Olathe Park, KS: Conquer Youth: The only OCR series just for kids. 1 mile and 10 obstacles for ages 5-17 (yes, parents can run alongside their future athletes). (www.ConquerYouth.com)
June 7, 2020 in Bonner Springs, KS: Wild Woman’s Timber Challenge: 5k (3.1 miles), 30+ obstacles and women only (men are allowed to run the course as long as they run in female attire). (www.KCTimberChallenge.com)
TBD date in Olathe, KS: Dirt Runner’s DRX Obstacle Games: Seven-event, OCR based heptathlon with events like tire jumps, rope climbs, tire flips, farmer’s carry, atlas stone carry, tire pull/drag and a 1 mile OCR. Very little running, but lots of obstacles and some of the coolest participant medals in the sport. (http://dirtrunner.us)
September 19, 2020 in Weston, MO (Snow Creek): Rugged Maniac: 5k, 20+ obstacles run on a ski mountain with lots of fun obstacles (including inflatables) and an epic pre/post-race party. (www.RuggedManiac.com)
September 2020 in Bonner Springs, KS: Extreme Timber Challenge: 5+ miles, 40+ obstacles including a mini-zip line covering the entire course of KC Timber Challenge’s permanent facility. (www.KCTimberChallenge.com)
Fall 2020 in Olathe, KS: Kansas City Obstacle Course Racers Feel The Burn Challenge: 2 mile OCR run partially indoors and outdoors with 20+ obstacles at the gym “The Burn KC” in Olathe. (https://conqueryouth.redpodium.com/kcocr-feel-the-burn-challenge-ii)
If those races aren’t enough for you, I recommend taking a little bit of a drive or maybe a mini-vacation to another series that is based in the Midwest. Conquer The Gauntlet is an OCR that is 4 miles with 25+ obstacles that hold around six events a year spread between Dallas and Des Moines. They have three races all under four hours away including Iowa (August 1, 2020), Wichita (August 22, 2020) and Tulsa (September 12, 2020). In addition to the four-mile course they also have a multi-lap option called Continuum, which involves running as many laps as you can for five and a half hours. Plus, every Conquer The Gauntlet event also has a kid's race for your future athletes.
OCR is truly a sport for all ages. Come out and join in a local event to feel like a kid again running on an “adult playground”. If you want your kids to race, double-check the age restrictions, most courses allow athletes that are 12 years old and older on the course. When you sign up well in advance you can save a lot of money on entry fees. Either way, you’ll find the memories you make out on the course are worth more than money can buy. I hope to see some of you on the course this year!
If you end up getting your own version of the above, let me know by posting it below or shooting a message to my Facebook.
Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and official policies of Mud Run Guide LLC, or their staff. The comments posted on this Website are solely the opinions of the posters.